The White House is asking Congress to approve $205 million to help Israel build a new short-range rocket defense system, Obama administration officials confirmed Friday.Called the Iron Dome, the security system "addresses Israelis' worries about errant rockets being fired into their homes" and is designed to intercept incoming rockets fired from Lebanon and Gaza, a senior administration official said.
White House spokesman Tommy Vietor explained the administration's rationale, saying, "The president recognizes the threat missiles and rockets fired by Hamas and Hezbollah pose to Israelis, and has therefore decided to seek funding from Congress to support the production of Israel's short-range rocket defense system called Iron Dome."
Two senior administration officials said the $205 million would be in addition to the $3 billion the United States spends each year to promote Israel's defense.
"As the president has repeatedly said," Vietor added, "our commitment to Israel's security is unshakable and our defense relationship is stronger than ever. The United States and our ally Israel share many of the same security challenges, from combating terrorism to confronting the threat posed by Iran's nuclear-weapons program."