PM, Barak thank US for approving funds for Iron Dome

US to give $205 million towards developing and equipping rocket defense system as part of annual budget.

By
April 15, 2011 22:26
2 minute read.
Netanyahu, Barak inspect the Iron Dome system

Netanyahu Barak Iron Dome 311. (photo credit: Avi Ohayun/GPO)

 
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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Saturday thanked the US House of Representatives for approving new funding to protect Israelis living near Gaza.

The Republican-dominated House of Representatives on Friday passed a budget bill that allocates an additional $205 million for the Iron Dome anti-rocket system, as well as funding for other Israeli defense projects such as Arrow 2, Arrow 3 and Magic Wand.

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The bill still awaits approval by the Democratic-led Senate.

Netanyahu, in a statement, expressed “deep appreciation to President Barack Obama and the United States Congress for their steadfast support of Israel’s security. The $205 million in budgetary funding for the Iron Dome missile defense system will help protect Israel’s citizens and communities against rocket fire from Gaza.

“America’s unshakeable commitment to Israel in critical times, along with ongoing military and material cooperation, is a testament to our shared values and the enduring bonds between our two peoples.”

“America’s unshakeable commitment to Israel in critical times, along with ongoing military and material cooperation, is a testament to our shared values and the enduring bonds between our two peoples,” the prime minister said.

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Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that the increased budgets would significantly strengthen Israel’s defense capability against missiles.

It was a testament to the depth of American support for Israel’s security, he said.

Obama on Friday sent his “warmest wishes to all those celebrating the sacred festival of Passover,” comparing Pessah’s themes of liberation and freedom with the changes currently sweeping across the Middle East. Obama is set host his third annual Seder at the White House on Monday night.

Obama also said that “with its rich traditions and rituals, [the Seder] instructs each generation to remember its past, while appreciating the beauty of freedom and the responsibility it entails.”

The US president said he prayed for Israel and its neighbors, while “reaffirming our enduring commitment to Israel’s security.”

Obama wished Jews worldwide a “Hag Sameah,” or happy holiday. “Let us all be thankful for the gifts that have been bestowed upon us, and let us work to alleviate the suffering, poverty, injustice, and hunger of those who are not yet free,” he said.

Obama has annually held a Seder for his family and a small group of friends. He was the first US president to hold a Seder at the White House.

Hilary Leila Krieger and Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.

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