Congress Set to Approve $3.7 Billion in Military Aid for Israel, with Emphasis on Anti-Missile Systems


missile-launchersIncluded in a spending bill expected to pass Congress in the next few days is a $3.7 billion allocation for Israel, composed of $3.1 billion in regular annual military aid – in accordance with the multi-year agreement between Israel and Washington – and $619 million for Israel’s missile defense, including the Iron Dome anti-missile system which played a key role in protecting Israeli population centers from Hamas missile attacks during the summer war in Gaza. The bill requires that 55% of the components for Iron Dome be manufactured in the U.S.

The Israeli contractor Rafael Defense Systems is said to be keen on selling Iron Dome to the U.S. Defense Department, emphasizing that the system can intercept drones as well as missiles. Each missile in the current Patriot system used by the U.S. costs $2 million, in contrast to the Tamir missiles fired by Iron Dome, which cost $100,000.

The bill also allocates $1.3 billion in military aid and $150 million in economic aid to Egypt, while Jordan will receive $1 billion in economic and military aid, in addition to U.S. humanitarian aid for millions of Syrian refugees that have fled to the kingdom. Under the bill, the U.S. will halt assistance to the Palestinian Authority if it becomes a member of the UN or of UN agencies without an agreement with Israel. It also prohibits funds for Hamas.

{Andy Newscenter}