Israel Hails Record $705 Million In U.S. Funding For Joint Missile Defense Projects
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman praised the U.S. Congress for approving a $705 million funding package for Israel’s missile defense systems, the highest-ever American contribution to the program and some $550 million more than Jerusalem had requested. “I thank our great friend the United States, which until now has invested $6.5 billion in protecting the skies of Israel,” Liberman asserted, adding that he intends to convey his gratitude personally when he meets on Tuesday with a delegation of congressional Democrats headed by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. The Israeli defense chief confirmed that the U.S. funds will be used to develop new technologies—jointly by Israeli contractor Rafael and America’s Raytheon—as well as to stockpile anti-missile rockets for Israel’s three-tier defense shield, including the Iron Dome, David’s Sling and Arrow systems which intercept short-, medium- and long-range projectiles respectively. The missile defense funding was incorporated into the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill signed into law last week by U.S. President Donald Trump, whom Liberman also thanked.