US defense bill amended to fund Israeli anti-tunneling efforts

Missile defense funding approved by House committee.

April 30, 2015 19:54
David's Sling

The David's Sling air defense system intercepts target during flight test. (photo credit: THE MISSILE DEFENSE AGENCY (MDA))


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WAS HINGTON – The House Armed Services Committee has app roved funding for Israeli missile defense and anti-tunneling programs for 2016.

In an amendment to the omnibus National Defense Authorization Act, the committee signed off on $474 million for the Iron Dome short-range missile defense system, the David’s Sling medium-range system and the Arrow program, for long-range missile defense.

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The program includes funding for research and development into anti-tunneling technology, after the IDF discovered dozens of burrowed Hamas tunnels into Israeli territory over the summer. The discovery prolonged the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, during which President Barack Obama signed off on an emergency replenishment of Iron Dome funds.

“Our closest ally in the Middle East – Israel – lives under the constant threat of terrorist attacks from underground tunnels,” said Congressman Gwen Graham (D-Florida), who co-authored the anti-tunneling provision alongside Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado). “The US-Israel Anti-Tunnel Defense Cooperation Act will launch an unprecedented new initiative to protect Israel from this dangerous menace.”

The provision was publicly endorsed by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, upon its passage through committee.

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