Israel will receive a record $705 million from the United States in 2018 to finance its missile defense programs, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said, Sputnikreported.
“I am pleased and excited to announce that the US Congress has approved a record sum for Israel’s missile defense program: $705 million in 2018!” Lieberman said in his statement, as quoted by the Jerusalem Post newspaper.
The US Congress has increased its budget for funding Israeli missile defense programs by $148 million in order to include Iron Dome and Arrow 3 development, informs the newspaper.
According to the Jerusalem Post, which refers to the Israeli Defense Ministry’s statement, Israel requested more funding for the production of the Iron Dome, David’s Sling and Arrow-3 missile defense systems. These systems are able to counter threats from short- and mid-range missiles fired by Gaza groups and Hezbollah, as well as long-range Iranian ballistic missiles.
Israel is the major US ally in the Middles East. In 2016, the two countries signed the largest-ever military aid deal, under which Israel will be provided with $38 billion in military aid between 2019 and 2028. Under the agreement’s terms, Israel will receive $3.3 billion annually to fund its military and $500,000 annually to fund its missile defenses.