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All-party MPs in the House of Representatives are doubling America’s “iron” support for Israel following the deadly Gaza conflict and pushing for more federal funding to replenish Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system.
At least 50 House members, both Democrats and Republicans, wrote to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on Wednesday urging the Pentagon to work quickly with Congress to accommodate any request to replenish Israel’s supplies of interceptors for the Iron Dome system.
During the 11-day violent conflict with Hamas terrorist group last month, the missile defense system was critical in intercepting about 90% of the 4,500 incoming missiles, according to lawmakers.
“Even with the Gaza attacks halted, we are keeping a clear eye on the threats Israel continues to face, not only from Gaza but also along its northern border,” lawmakers wrote in a letter to Austin, Fox News shared.
“We need to make sure that the Iron Dome is still able to protect Israel without running the risk of its supply of interceptors being exhausted. Israel must always have the resources it needs to fight incoming missiles defend if it is attacked again. “
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Israel Defense Secretary Benny Gantz is due to arrive in Washington this week to meet with Austin. He is expected to seek additional $ 1 billion in assistance to refill the Iron Dome, Senator Lindsey Graham, RS.C., said after traveling to Israel and meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and others Israeli officials had met.
Lawmakers, led by New Jersey Democratic MP Josh Gottheimer, said it supports such requests for additional funding to ensure Israel is able to defend itself against any attack.
“We are writing to express our strong support for the Biden administration’s ironclad commitment to Israeli security, including increasing Israeli inventory of Iron Dome missile defense interceptors and other important matters,” lawmakers wrote to Austin. “We ask that you continue to engage with Israel urgently on this issue and that you please report to Congress on Israel’s needs as soon as possible.”
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The strong support from both parties for Israel stands in the way of a growing movement in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, which is calling on Israel to retaliate air strikes that have killed many Palestinians and to call on the Biden administration to stop arms deliveries to its allies in the Middle East. Both Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.,. and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, DN.Y., have spearheaded efforts in Congress to urge Biden to cancel the recent $ 735 million arms sale from the US to the Israel Defense Ministry.
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“The United States shouldn’t stamp arms sales to the Israeli government as it uses our resources to bomb international media, schools, hospitals, humanitarian missions and civilian sites,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted at the height of Gaza last month -Conflict.
The fighting between Israel and Hamas ended with a ceasefire agreement on May 21st. In the end, the war left more than 250 dead, the vast majority Palestinians.