US House Gives Nod to $1 Billion Funding For Israel’s Iron Dome
On March 11, the United States Senate approved $1 billion in supplementary financing for Israel’s Iron Dome as part of its domestic and national security programmes.
The bill also includes $3.8 billion in defence aid for Israel, as agreed upon by former President Barack Obama in a Memorandum of Understanding inked in 2015. To end the government shutdown, US President Joe Biden is expected to sign the budget into law today.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett applauded the decision on Twitter with a tweet: “Thank you to the U.S. Congress for your overwhelming commitment to Israel’s security [and] for passing the critical security package – including the replenishment of the life-saving Iron Dome.”
According to The Times of Israel, Israel has requested more than $500 million in Iron Dome financing after utilising the defence system after declaring war on the beleaguered Gaza Strip in May of last year. During the 11-day attack in May, Israeli air and artillery strikes massacred 253 Palestinians, including 66 children, and caused tens of thousands to flee their homes.
The Liberal Democrats have opposed the US-Israel policy, claiming that human rights problems such as Palestinian civilian losses should be prioritised as Israel retaliated after Hamas rocket launches in May. “We should also be talking about the Palestinian need for protection against an Israeli attack,” Democratic Representative Rashida Tlaib said during the debate.
Nonetheless, the $1 billion Iron Dome financing bill was enacted, and it will be used to replenish missile interceptors Israel deployed to defend itself against rockets fired from Gaza during the battle in May.