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Copyright © 2019 The American Israel Public Affairs Committee

Congress Adopts Final Defense Bill with Pro-Israel Provisions

The Iron Dome is designed to intercept and destroy incoming short-range rockets and artillery shells. (Jack Guez/POOL via AP)

AIPAC commends the U.S. Congress for including important pro-Israel provisions in the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019. These critical provisions will help protect Israel against mounting security threats. The bipartisan measure authorizes $500 million for U.S.-Israel missile defense cooperation and up to $50 million for U.S.-Israel counter-tunnel cooperation.

The measure authorizes full funding for cooperative missile defense programs in accordance with the 2016 U.S.-Israel Memorandum of Understanding on security assistance. It authorizes funding for both R&D and procurement for the Iron Dome, David’s Sling, Arrow-2 and Arrow-3 missile defense systems. These programs enable Israel to defend its citizens while advancing America’s own missile defense capabilities.

Counter-tunnel funding will enable America and Israel to continue their joint efforts to defeat the threat posed by terrorist organizations like Hamas and similar threats America faces in the Middle East and beyond.

The legislation also includes other important pro-Israel provisions. It extends authorization for the U.S. War Reserve Stockpile in Israel by five years and authorizes an additional $1 billion in U.S. weapons stockpiles in Israel. It calls for a joint assessment of the quantity and type of precision-guided munitions necessary for Israel to defend itself against Hezbollah, Hamas and other terrorist groups. For the first time, this measure authorizes the establishment of a cooperative R&D program with Israel to develop capabilities for countering unmanned aerial systems.

In adopting this critical legislation, AIPAC appreciates the leadership of Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and Ranking Member Jack Reed (D-RI), and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX) and Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA).

Type: Press Release