Israel praises ‘record’ $705mn missile defense funding from Washington

27 Mar, 2018 15:45 / Updated 6 years ago

The Israeli defense minister hailed the US’ hefty contribution to the missile defense program, thanking Washington for its $705 million in aid – $558 million more than Israel’s initial request.

“I am pleased to announce that the US Congress has approved a record amount for missile defense: $705 million in 2018,” Avigdor Liberman tweeted. “We will continue to develop the multi-layered missile defense system. Our enemies who try to hurt us will be surprised by the capabilities we have developed.”

On Tuesday, Liberman met with a US Congress delegation headed by Nancy Pelosi, the minority leader in the House of Representatives (D-CA), thanking the US for its support.

The “highest aid budget ever” will go to the mass production of the Iron Dome, Magic Wand and Arrow 3 interceptors and defense system development to respond against “future threats,” according to the defense ministry.  Liberman praised “our great friend the United States of America” for investing $6.5 billion in “protecting the skies of Israel.”

READ MORE: Israel fires volley of Iron Dome defensive missiles after false alarm over gunfire in Gaza (VIDEO)

Liberman’s statement followed the IDF sending missile interceptors after sirens went off late Sunday. The Iron Dome system was mistakenly activated in response to gun fire during a Hamas military exercise in Gaza. Ten Tamir missiles, each costing $50,000, were fired as a result.

READ MORE: Deal reached on record $38bn US military aid to Israel, signing set for Wednesday

In 2016, the US pledged $38 billion in military assistance to Israel under a 10-year arrangement, which will start in FY2019. Israel is already the largest recipient of American foreign aid since World War 2.