WASHINGTON — A US-backed rocket shield is on track to protect Israeli towns against rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip, a senior State Department official said Friday.
The system, dubbed the "Iron Dome," is being promoted by the Obama administration as the latest example of expanded military cooperation between the United States and Israel. President Barack Obama has asked Congress for $205 million to accelerate development of the system, about half its total cost.
The election-year message of increased US aid to Israel seems aimed at assuaging the misgivings of many Jewish voters that Obama remains committed to Israel's security, despite diplomatic tensions early this year.
"As surely as the bond between the United States and Israel is unbreakable, our commitment to Israel's qualitative military edge has never been greater," said Andrew Shapiro, an assistant secretary of State for political and military affairs.