Middle East

Senate panel doubles money for Israel's Iron Dome

A missile is launched by an "Iron Dome" battery, a short-range missile defense system designed to intercept and destroy incoming short-range rockets and artillery shells, in the southern Israeli city of Ashdod July 14, 2014. (AFP Photo/David Buimovitch)

WASHINGTON: A U.S. Senate panel has backed a defense spending bill that would double the amount of money for Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system.

The move by the Appropriations defense subcommittee comes as the system has proven successful in shooting down Hamas' rockets in the latest hostilities between Israel and Hamas.

The defense bill would provide $351 million for Iron Dome, double what the Obama administration requested. Republican and Democratic administrations have typically requested a smaller amount for the program designed to intercept short-range rockets and mortars, knowing Congress will increase it.

Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin, the chairman of the panel, said the system is working and the increase was crucial with Israel facing rockets from Gaza militants.

Overall, the defense bill would provide $549.3 billion for fiscal 2015.





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