Democratic and Republican members of Congress say they support aid to maintain Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile defense system.
A bipartisan group in Congress backed an emergency $1 billion supplement to military aid for Israel, Jewish Insider reported Wednesday.
Israel’s supply of interceptor rockets for the Iron Dome defense system was seriously depleted last month shooting down most of the 4,000 rockets fired at Israeli towns and cities by terrorists in Gaza.
Developed jointly with the United States, the Iron Dome system proved itself defending Israeli civilians by knocking down more than 90% of the rockets targeting populated areas.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz is making a surprise visit to Washington where he is expected to meet later this week with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.
While Gantz will be discussing the Iran nuclear threat, he is also expected to seek the $1 billion in supplemental military aid to restock the batteries for the Iron Dome system. The U.S. recently completed the purchase of two Iron Dome systems for its own use and evaluation.
During a trip to Jerusalem this week for talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Senator Lindsey Graham told Fox News Tuesday that Washington should expect the Israeli request, calling it “a good investment for the American people.”
“As Hamas tries to destroy Israel, as Iran threatens the existence of the Jewish state, I’m going to keep coming back here and saying more for Israel,” Graham said. “Every time somebody tries to destroy Israel, our response is going to be more aid and it starts with replenishing the Iron Dome.”
Democratic Congressman Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey is heading the bipartisan group that so far has the signatures of 46 members of the House. They will be sending a recommendation to Austin ahead of his meeting with Gantz to “express our strong support for the Biden Administration’s ironclad commitment to Israel’s safety and security, including replenishing Israel’s stock of interceptors for the Iron Dome missile defense system and other important matters.”
It is estimated that over the years the Iron Dome system has saved hundreds of lives and prevented hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage.
The representatives further say that America must “remain clear eyed” about the terrorist threats facing Israel and make sure the Jewish state does not run out of the critical interceptor rockets if and when another attack comes.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad still have large supplies of rockets, and it is estimated that the Iran-backed Hezbollah terror group in Lebanon has over 150,000 rockets aimed at Israel.
“Please know that Congress stands with the administration in its commitment to ensuring Israel’s security and capability to defend itself from any attack,” the bipartisan letter read.