The U.S. Congress approved an additional $1 billion in funding for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system on Wednesday as part of the omnibus spending package which also included critical security funding with $14 billion in emergency aid to Ukraine.
Representative Gregory W. Meeks, chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, praised the provisions in the package that relate to valuable global priorities, such as Israel’s security.
“I am also pleased this bill includes support for Israel and Arab-world normalization efforts, and $1 billion for Israel’s life-saving Iron Dome system,” Meeks said in a statement.
The congressman also highlighted a provision titled "Israel Relations Normalization Act," which encourages the State Department to bolster current Abraham Accords agreements and seek ways of expanding them to other nations – all while making certain they benefit the Palestinian people and contribute to a two-state solution.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett expressed his gratitude to Congress for its “overwhelming commitment to Israel’s security and for passing the critical security package – including the replenishment of the life-saving Iron Dome.”
Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz thanked the U.S. Congress in a recorded message.
“On behalf of Israel’s defense establishment, I would like to say a big thank you to our partners in the U.S. House of Representatives for the security funding that you have included in the Omnibus spending package,” he said. “Thank you to the House leadership – Speaker Pelosi, whom I recently met in Israel, Congressman Hoyer and Congressman McCarthy.”
“Iron Dome replenishment and missile defense funding will ensure Israel’s military edge, contribute to regional security, and strengthen U.S.- Israel cooperation,” Gantz added.
The defense minister thanked U.S. President Joe Biden “for his leadership and support for the security of the State of Israel. I would also like to thank my friend, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, for his steadfast commitment to the ironclad U.S.-Israel bond and excellent defense cooperation.”
Gantz emphasized that the passing of the bill is a testimony to “the unique bond between the U.S. and Israel – a relationship that spans both sides of the aisle and that is based on shared values, strategic interests and a common vision for a more peaceful and free world.”
Tal Heinrich is a senior correspondent for both ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS. She is currently based in New York City. Tal also provides reports and analysis for Israeli Hebrew media Channel 14 News.