Report: Israel Lobbying Congress for $300m More for Its Missile Defense Programs

Bloomberg reports Israeli officials have turned to U.S. lawmakers instead of to White House or Pentagon in effort to secure additional funding for David's Sling and Arrow-3.

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Haaretz
David's Sling, also known as the 'Magic Wand' system, can intercept mid-range missiles.
David's Sling, also known as the 'Magic Wand' system, can intercept mid-range missiles.Credit: Haaretz Archive
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Haaretz

Israel has asked the U.S. Congress to boost President Barak Obama's budget request for Israel's missile-defense program by more than $300 million, Bloomberg reported.

Bloomberg noted that the new Israeli request came through lobbying effort on Capitol Hill, and not via the White House or the Pentagon, and that this effort comes at a low point in the relations between Israel and the U.S. administration due to Netanyahu's impending Congress speech against a deal with Iran.

The $317 million wish list presented to American lawmakers is in addition to the $158 million already proposed by the Pentagon for Israel's security needs. The new request is for funding of two Israeli missile defense programs: David's Sling and Arrow-3.

Bloomberg reported that the director of Israel's missile defense organization Yair Ramati met with lawmakers and aides to the congressional defense committees in early February in effort to gain their support for the new wish list.

The U.S. gives Israel $3.1 billion a year in "foreign military financing," but this does not include a separate budget for Israel's missile defenses, including Iron Dome, Bloomberg reported.

The spokesman of the Israeli embassy to Washington refused to comment, Bloomberg reported.

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