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Copyright © 2019 The American Israel Public Affairs Committee

Senate Committee Adopts Important Israel Security Assistance Legislation

View of central Israel seen from Tel Aviv as an Iron Dome air defense system fires to intercept a rocket from the Gaza Strip, Israel, Thursday, July 10, 2014. (AP Photo/Dan Balilty)

AIPAC applauds the Senate Foreign Relations Committee 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 agreed-upon increases in Israel’s security assistance and encourages expanding weapons stockpiles and new U.S.-Israel cooperation in anti-drone technologies, cybersecurity and space.

AIPAC also appreciates the committee's overwhelming rejection of an amendment offered by Sen. Rand Paul to eliminate all aid to Israel over a 10-year period.

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 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 full Senate and House to act on these important measures.

Type: Press Release