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US House committee approves funds for Israel missile system

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A missile is launched by an Iron Dome battery.

The US House of Representatives Armed Services Committee has approved funding for Israel’s missile systems and an amendment authorizing research and development of an anti-tunneling system.

The committee allocated $474 million for the Iron Dome short-range missile system, the David’s Sling medium-range system and the Arrow program. The bills are now awaiting approval from the US Senate.

The $267.6 million funds for research on anti-tunneling system show Washington and Tel Aviv’s concern about the underground tunnels in the Gaza Strip.

The tunnels are used by the Palestinian resistance movement of Hamas to bring in vital goods and other necessities for the people living under Israel’s blockade of the coastal enclave.

The Gaza Strip has been under a crippling Israeli siege since 2007. The blockade, which has cut off the territory from the outside world, has led to an economic and humanitarian crisis in the densely-populated enclave.

On April 30, the UN urged Israel to end its crippling blockade of the Gaza Strip.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has urged the US Congress to approve the funds.

“AIPAC urges the full House and Senate to include these vital funds in the final versions of the Fiscal Year 2016 defense authorization and appropriations bills,” AIPAC said in a statement.

The United States provides Israel with some $8.5 million in military aid per day, adding up to over $3 billion annually.

AGB/AGB


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