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Congress approves funding of Israel’s Iron Dome

Allocation of $1 billion for the resupplying Israel’s anti-missile defense system, as well as $3.8 billion in defense aid for Israel in accordance with the 2015 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)signed by former President Barack Obama, were included in the $1.5 trillion Omnibus package for the 2022 full fiscal year.  

By Erin Viner

Israeli leaders were swift to express resounding gratitude for the American financial support.

“Thank you to the US Congress for your overwhelming commitment to Israel’s security for passing the critical security package – including the replenishment of the life-saving Iron Dome,” Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in a public statement.

The Israeli leader expressed deep appreciation “to our friends at the US House of Representatives,” adding personal mention of US President Joe Biden’s efforts, writing, “Thank you for your leadership [and] friendship. Together, we are stronger.”

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz released a recorded message, saying, “On behalf of Israel’s defense establishment, I would like to say a big thank you to our partners in the US House of Representatives for the security funding that you have included in the Omnibus spending package.”

Stressing that the “Iron Dome replenishment and missile defense funding will ensure Israel’s military edge, contribute to regional security, and strengthen US- Israel cooperation,” Lt. Gen. (Res.) Gantz added that he wanted “to take this opportunity to thank US President Joe Biden for his leadership and support for the security of the State of Israel.”

Jerusalem’s top defense official also offered thanks to “my friend, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, for his steadfast commitment to the ironclad US-Israel bond and excellent defense cooperation.”

“Once again, we witness the unique bond between the US and Israel – a relationship that spans both sides of the aisle and that is based on shared values, strategic interests and a common vision for a more peaceful and free world,” underscored Defense Minister Gantz.

Israeli Alternate Premier and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid issued statements on social media, calling the bipartisan US support “a testimony to the strategic relations” between the two nations and “commitment to the State of Israel’s security over the years.”

Both Gantz and Lapid expressed gratitude to Democratic and Republican leadership of the House of Representatives, particularly Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

The measure must now be approved by the Senate in the coming days before being sent to the White House for President Biden’s signature.

The funding will be used to provide new missile supply for Israel’s Iron Dome Weapon System (IDDS), which was depleted during the 2021 Operation Guardian of the Walls with Gaza. Hamas and other Islamist Palestinian terror groups fired over 4,300 rockets at Israel during the 11 day conflict, 90% of which were shot down by the Iron Dome.

Also included in the Omnibus spending package is the allocation of funds aimed at bolstering the Abraham Accords in the “Israel Normalization Act;” this year’s $50 million installment of the 5-year, $250 million “Middle East Peace Partnership Act” to promote Israeli-Palestinian dialogue and Palestinian business development; $40 million for Palestinian Authority security forces; and $219 million for the Economic Security Fund for humanitarian projects for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, in what was the largest amount since 2015.

$14 billion of emergency funding was also allocated for Ukraine, following the 24 February invasion by Russia.