from the June 2010 issue

US to fund installation of Israeli rocket defense system

US Congress has approved an extra $200m in military aid to help Israel get a short-range rocket defense system in place.

The system is designed to intercept mortars shells and rockets from Gaza or Southern Lebanon using guided missiles.

The system, called Iron Dome, has gone through testing and installation will start later this year.

According to US State Department figures, direct military aid to Israel was $2.55bn in 2009.

This is set to increase to $3.15bn in 2018.

A White House spokesman reaffirmed what he called the administration's "unshakeable commitment" to Israel's security - adding that Mr. Obama recognized the threat posed by missiles and rockets fired by Hamas and Hezbollah.

Iron Dome was conceived and developed in Israel following the Lebanon war of 2006, during which Hezbollah launched about 4,000 rockets into northern Israel.

Southern Israel has also come under fire, with thousands of rockets and mortars fired by Palestinian militants.

Israel completed tests on the system in January. Officials say the next phase in its development is its integration into the Israeli army.

The announcement on US funding for Iron Dome coincides with the resumption of indirect talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Reprinted from the Israel High-Tech & Investment Report June 2010

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