Panetta, Barak to Announce More US Military Aid to Israel

'Special Package' of $680 Million to Be Announced in DC

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak is headed to Washington DC on Monday, with plans for him and his US counterpart Leon Panetta to officially announce $680 million in additional US military aid to Israel.

The Pentagon initially cooked up this most recent plan to increase aid to Israel, pushing for the House Armed Services Committee to authorize the funding for the “Iron Dome” missile defense program in late March. The committee quickly did so.

Officials pushed for the new funding to increase the number of such defensive missiles along the border with the Gaza Strip, after Israel’s March bombardment of the strip and subsequent return-fire ended with a “malfunction” and rockets causing minor damage.

The Pentagon insists that the Iron Dome “saved many lives,” despite it failing to stop a good portion of the rockets and those rockets not being particularly deadly at any rate (mostly doing minor damage to buildings or landing harmlessly in fields). The Iron Dome program was initially defunded by the Israeli military in 2010 for being a waste of money, and the US has since picked up 100% of the costs.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.