On Tuesday, US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield visited Israel and toured the country’s northern and southern borders with the Israeli military and vowed that the US would “replenish” the Iron Dome Missile defense system.
After the Israeli bombing campaign in Gaza in May, which killed over 250 Palestinians, including over 60 children, Israel requested an additional $1 billion in military aid from Washington, on top of the $3.8 billion the US provides each year.
Israeli officials initially said the funds were needed to replenish the Iron Dome and to buy more missiles for Israel’s air force. But a bill to give Israel the extra $1 billion that passed overwhelmingly through the House says the aid is only for the Iron Dome, giving Israel supporters in Congress the excuse that the additional aid will only be used for “defense.”
“This morning, @IDF shared a look at the Iron Dome and David’s Sling systems, which our nations developed together to save the lives of innocent civilians. We will replenish the Iron Dome system and support Israel’s ability to defend itself,” Thomas-Greenfield wrote on Twitter.
The Iron Dome legislation is being held up in the Senate by Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), who wants the funds to come out of planned US aid for Afghanistan. Once there is a vote, it is expected to easily pass, and President Biden has said he will sign the bill once it reaches his desk.
Out of the $3.8 billion the US gives Israel each year, $500 million is allocated for the Iron Dome and other missile defense systems. The Iron Dome is a joint project between the Israeli defense firm Rafael and the US firm Raytheon, the former employer of Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.