WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama signed a bill on Friday to strengthen US-Israeli military ties as he sought to reassure American Jewish voters of his commitment to the two countries' close alliance on the eve of a visit to Israel by his Republican rival, Mitt Romney.
Obama used a White House ceremony to announce the United States would soon provide Israel with an additional $70 million in funding for its short-range rocket shield known as "Iron Dome," a project strongly backed by the powerful US pro-Israel lobby.
His focus on strengthening cooperation with Israel appeared timed to upstage Romney, who has accused the president of undermining Washington's relationship with its number one partner in the Middle East.
Romney, whose Olympics-week visit to London has been plagued by diplomatic stumbles, will travel on Saturday to Israel, a stop his aides hope will resonate with Jewish voters at home.
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