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And still asking for more: US senator says Israel to request $1bn in additional aid

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)
The file photo shows Israeli soldiers walking near an Iron Dome missile system (L), the MIM-104 Patriot (C), and Arrow 3 anti-ballistic missile systems (R) at Hatzor Air Force Base. (Photo by AFP)

Being already the largest recipient of assistance from Washington, with an annual $3.8bn in US military aid, does not stop Israel from asking for more. Now a US senator has unveiled that the Tel Aviv regime is preparing a request for an additional $1 billion to the Pentagon to replenish its missile system following the latest war on the besieged Gaza Strip.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham called on Congress to immediately authorize Tel Aviv’s request for extra funding.

Graham made the remarks in an interview with Fox News from Jerusalem al-Quds on Tuesday, after meeting with both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz during a trip to Israel this week.

"There will be a $1 billion request coming to the Pentagon this week from the (Israeli) defense minister to replenish the Iron Dome and a few other things, to upgrade the system," Graham said, pledging to lead efforts to secure the request in Congress after the Pentagon officially receives it in the coming days.

"Every time somebody tries to destroy Israel, our response is going to be more aid," while holding a sign that read "more for Israel."

Claiming the Iron Dome had saved thousands of lives during last month's Palestinian rocket attacks, Graham said he expected the administration of President Joe Biden and Congress to approve Israel’s request for more funding.

He further emphasized that “there's a wide and deep support for Israel among the Democratic Party,” although there’s been a big quarrel over the last engagement between the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas and the Israeli regime in the United States.

The call for more US aid came on the same day the Tel Aviv regime reported that Israel had recorded the highest ever tally of military exports in 2020 at $8.3 bn.  

The Biden administration has already raised controversy by authorizing hundreds of millions of dollars worth of additional weapons sales to Israel.

The sale of $735 million in precision-guided weapons to Israel came at exactly a time when the Tel Aviv regime was staging a bloody campaign of aerial bombardments and artillery shelling against Palestinians in Gaza.


The latest request for more funding comes at a time when some lawmakers are mounting pressure on the Biden administration to take action in the face of Israeli regime's relentless aggression on Palestinians.

Progressive Democrats in the United States have recently pushed forward efforts to dramatically shift the US relationship with Israel and impose conditions on aid to Tel Aviv.

A recent poll by the Arab American Institute showed that most Americans oppose unrestricted aid to the Tel Aviv regime, as criticism of Israeli policies against Palestinians continues to grow.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Graham thanked the Biden administration for standing by Israel in the latest escalation with Gaza, after the president said there is “no shift” in his commitment to the security of Israel.

He also stressed that Washington's relationship with Israel will not be affected by Israeli politics, amid reports that Netanyahu's political rivals are at the point of forming a coalition government that would remove him from power.

"The government may change in the next couple of days, quite frankly. But one thing [that] won't change is the relationship between Israel and the United States," Graham said.

The United States has until now provided the Israeli regime with $146 billion in bilateral assistance and missile funding. At present, almost all US bilateral aid to the regime is in the form of military assistance, according to a report by Congressional Research Service.

Washington has over the years helped the Israeli regime develop its military infrastructure, and allowed it to purchase sophisticated equipment from the US.

Of the $3.8bn military aid the US gave Israel in 2020, $500m was for missile systems, including investments in the Iron Dome system to intercept incoming rockets.

However, as witnessed in the latest episode, the much-hyped Iron Dome system failed to intercept the rockets fired by Palestinian resistance movements in Gaza.

The failure showed that the staggering amount of US money has proved inadequate to bolster the apartheid regime’s military capabilities, including the Iron Dome defense system, which has seen around $1.6bn US investment since 2011.

Israel unleashed the latest escalation against the coastal sliver after Gazans rose up in protest against its serious violations in the nearby occupied territory of the West Bank, especially the holy city of Jerusalm al-Quds.

The Gaza-based resistance front retaliated by launching thousands of rockets into the occupied territories.

The 11-day Israeli aggression killed more than 250 Palestinians in Gaza including 66 children, wounded more than 1,900 and damaged critical infrastructure and thousands of homes.

A ceasefire took hold on May 21 as Israel and Hamas agreed to halt nearly two weeks of fighting.

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