Israel Thanks U.S. for ‘Record-Breaking’ Missile Defense Aid

The Iron Dome defense system fires to interecpt incoming missiles from Gaza in the port town of Ashdod, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012. Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday that the army is prepared for a “significant widening” of its operation in the Gaza Strip. (AP Photo /Tsafrir Abayov)
AP/Tsafrir Abayov

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s defense minister has thanked the United States for including a “record-breaking” $705 million to aid the country’s missile defense in the spending bill passed last week.

Avigdor Lieberman said Monday that the aid will be used for the development of Israel’s multi-layered system, which is designed to shoot down short-range rockets from Gaza and Lebanon and counter long-range threats like that posed by Iran.

The U.S. provides $3.1 billion in military aid to Israel each year under a 10-year security arrangement. The $705 million is a separate allocation, and is up from the $600 million provided for missile defense last year.

U.S. President Donald Trump signed a $1.3 trillion spending bill on Friday that provides billions in new funding for the military and national security.

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