With Israel facing growing threats from its northern and southern borders there is much concern regarding previous American commitments for continued Iron Dome funding amid significant American budget cuts in President Barak Obama’s second term in office.
The good news is the Pentagon has announced America stands behind its commitment and pledges $220 million in Iron Dome funding in 2014. This sum is critical towards continuing to develop rocket defense systems that benefit the United States as well as Israel.
US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel promised former Defense Minister Ehud Barak on March 5, 2013 that US funding for the Iron Dome project would continue. The Iron Dome proved itself a vital component of Israel’s defense system in Operation Pillar of Defense, when rockets were fired at cities around Israel, most successfully intercepted by the advanced system.
Ironically, the announcement from the Pentagon came on Wednesday 7 Iyar 5773, on the same day that katyusha rockets were fired into the southern resort city of Eilat. B’chasdei Hashem there were no fatalities or serious injuries in those attacks, which defense officials stated highlighted the need for continued development and improvement of rocket defense systems.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)