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Obama signs U.S.-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act

JTA

July 30, 2012 | 12:37 pm

Calling America’s commitment to Israel “unshakable,” President Barack Obama signed legislation designed to enhance security cooperation between the two countries.

As he prepared to sign the bipartisan U.S.-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act, Obama said, “I have made it a top priority for my administration to deepen cooperation with Israel across the whole spectrum of security issues — intelligence, military, technology.”

The legislation provides additional support for various defense systems as well as the extension of loan guarantees for Israel and encouragement of an expanded role for Israel within NATO.

It also calls for the expansion of intelligence cooperation between the two states.

“In many ways what this legislation does is bring together all the outstanding cooperation that we have seen, really, at an unprecedented level between our two countries that underscore our unshakable commitment to Israel security,” Obama said.

The president also announced an additional $70 million in spending for the Iron Dome project, which targets incoming missiles and artillery shells and has been used with success by Israel.

Present at the bill’s signing were Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), its sponsor in the Senate; and Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), the original sponsor in the House of Representatives. Richard Stone, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations; Lee Rosenberg, chairman of the board of AIPAC; and Howard Friedman, past chair of the AIPAC board, also attended the signing.

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