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Copyright © 2019 The American Israel Public Affairs Committee

Senate Adopts Important Israel Security Assistance Legislation

In this July 16, 2014 file photo, smoke trails behind missiles fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip, as seen from the Israel-Gaza border. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit, File)

AIPAC applauds the U.S. Senate for adopting the U.S.-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2018 (S. 2497), which seeks to ensure that Israel has the means to defend itself, by itself, against growing and emerging threats—including Iran’s presence close to Israel's northern border. This bipartisan legislation authorizes increases in U.S. security assistance to Israel, and it encourages expanded weapons stockpiles and new U.S.-Israel cooperation in anti-drone technologies, cybersecurity and space.

Major provisions include:

  • Authorizing U.S. security assistance to Israel for 10 years, as called for in the 2016 U.S.-Israel Memorandum of Understanding on security assistance.

  • Authorizing 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; mandating rapid acquisition and deployment procedures for such munitions.

  • Extending authorization for the U.S. War Reserve Stockpile in Israel by five years and authorizing an additional $1 billion in stocks; authorizing the president to add precision-guided munitions to the stockpile for potential Israeli use in a conflict with Hezbollah.

  • Urging the NASA administrator to continue working with the Israel Space Agency to identify and cooperatively pursue peaceful space exploration and science initiatives.

  • Authorizing the president to establish a counter-drone program with Israel.

AIPAC appreciates the leadership of Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-TN) and Ranking Member Robert Menendez (D-NJ) along with the authors of the bill, Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Chris Coons (D-DE). In May, the House Foreign Affairs Committee adopted a version of this measure, H.R. 5141. AIPAC urges the House to act on this important measure.

Type: Press Release