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Record amount approved for U.S.-Israel missile defense program

By mmorgenstern@jta.org

June 2, 2011 | 9:58 am

The House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee awarded the highest-ever level of funding to the joint U.S.-Israel missile defense program Wednesday.

The subcommittee appropriated $235.7 million in funding for the coming year.

In a statement, committee member Rep. Steve Rothman (D-N.J.) said it was “a mark of importance” of the three joint defense programs - Arrow 2, Arrow 3 and David’s Sling - that they were given such high funding during the current economic climate.

“The growing proliferation and increasing deadliness of missiles and rockets around the world - including those possessed by dangerous regimes such as the one headed by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza and President Bashar al-Assad in Syria - pose a direct threat to U.S. national security,” Rothman said. “Funding these new technologies serves our interests in the volatile Middle East, and wherever America’s troops and citizens are stationed.”

Funding for such cooperative ventures is separate from the $3 billion in U.S. defense assistance Israel receives each year.

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