Shapiro reaffirms US commitment to Israel security

US ambassador says “no other country in the world faces that kind of onslaught on its citizens.”

April 18, 2012 01:45
1 minute read.
Dan Shapiro

Dan Shapiro. (photo credit: Courtesy of US embassy Israel)

US Ambassador Dan Shapiro reaffirmed America’s deep commitment to Israel’s security and democracy on Tuesday in an address to the Israel, Britain and The Commonwealth Association.

Speaking at the Leonardo Hotel in Ramat Gan, Shapiro recalled a recent visit that he made to Beersheba following a round of rocket fire from Gaza. It was a reminder of the fragile security situation, he said, adding, “No other country in the world faces that kind of onslaught on its citizens.”

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As the father of three young daughters, Shapiro said that he could understand the panic of residents in the South when the sirens go off and parents are looking to protect their children.

US President Barack Obama also understands that, said Shapiro, who organized Obama’s 2008 visit to Israel when he was campaigning.

Obama went to Sderot on that occasion, and saw the pile-up of fired missiles, visited families and listened to their stories.

That visit led him to accelerate support for the Iron Dome system, said Shapiro, noting that Iron Dome batteries have intercepted 50 rockets from Gaza with an 80 percent success rate, which Shapiro termed “an amazing achievement.”

He had never felt such pride he said, as when he saw America’s early investment in the Iron Dome system “that literally saves lives and gives the military time to decide how and when to respond to attacks.”

Obama is now seeking additional funds from Congress for further deployment of the Iron Dome System, said Shapiro, declaring, “The United States will always support Israel’s right to defend itself.”

Security coordination between Israel and the US is at the highest level that it has ever been, he added.

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