AJC Praises Enhanced U.S. Support for Israel’s Iron Dome Defense System

May 18, 2012 – New York – AJC praised the Obama administration’s decision to provide additional funds to enhance Israel’s Iron Dome defense system.

“Solid support for Israel’s security is at the heart of the U.S.-Israel relationship,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris. “With Gaza under the firm control of Hamas, a terror organization committed to Israel’s destruction, Iron Dome is an essential and effective component of Israel’s strategy to protect its citizens from rocket attacks from Gaza.”

Thousands of rockets and mortars have been fired into Israel from Gaza since Israel pulled back from the territory in 2005, and transferred it to the Palestinian Authority. Hamas seized control in a 2007 bloody coup against the Fatah Party headed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

According to the Voice of America, the U.S. Defense Department said the Iron Dome system was responsible two months ago for taking down 80 percent of several hundred rockets fired from Gaza Strip towards Israel.

“My goal is to ensure Israel has the funding it needs each year to produce these batteries that can protect its citizens,” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said in the statement announcing the additional $70 million in funding. “That is why going forward over the next three years, we intend to request additional funding for Iron Dome, based on an annual assessment of Israeli security requirements against an evolving threat.”

Israel also plans to setup the Iron Dome system near its northern border. In 2006, Hezbollah fired 4,000 rockets from Lebanon during its war with Israel.

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