U.S. Rushes Funding for Israel’s Iron Dome


The U.S. government raced to approve more funding for Israel’s Iron Dome missile-defense system, which has been used extensively in recent weeks to shield Israel from rockets fired from Palestinian fighters in Gaza.

The Senate on Friday voted to authorize $225 million for Israel to replenish its stockpile of Iron Dome interceptor missiles as a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic group that controls Gaza, collapsed amid ongoing clashes.

The House of Representatives was expected to take similar action later in the day before both chambers of Congress adjourned for August recess.

The funding would be in addition to the $351 million already slated for the system in fiscal 2015, bringing the total to $576 million — more than three times the Pentagon’s initial request of $176 million for the technology in the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.

Iron Dome is made by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and funded largely by the U.S. It’s designed to defend cities from short-range rockets and artillery fired from distances as far away as 43.5 miles (70 kilometers). Each unit contains 20 Tamir interceptors, which are fired after an EL/M-2084 radar detects a threat and a control center calculates the projected point of impact.

The technology is credited with helping to shield cities in southern Israel, including Ashdod and Ashkelon, from recent rocket barrages. During the first 10 days alone of Israel’s ground campaign into Gaza, known as Operation Protective Edge, the system blocked about 301 rockets, or 20 percent of the total during that period, according to Israel Defense Forces.

It’s not the only high-tech hardware Israel is deploying in its latest fight against Hamas. The IDF has for the first time deployed an unmanned ground vehicle known as the Micro Tactical Ground Robot made by Tel Aviv-based Roboteam to scour underground tunnels for Hamas-controlled weapons caches and command posts.

The U.S. Defense Department is also rushing to resupply munitions to Israel at the request of the Israeli Defense Ministry, including 120mm tank rounds and 40mm illumination rounds. The resupply comes even as the Pentagon on Friday issued a rare rebuke to the Israeli military.

“The civilian casualties in Gaza have been too high,” Defense Department spokesman Col. Steve Warren told reporters at the Pentagon. “And it’s become clear that the Israelis need to do more to live up to their very high standards … for protecting civilian life.”

Israel has come under criticism for the lopsided death toll in the conflict. While a few dozen Israelis have reportedly died, mostly soldiers, some 1,500 Palestinians have died, mostly civilians, according to press reports.

Tensions between the two sides escalated after a teenage Palestinian boy was killed following the abduction and killings in JuneĀ of three Israelis teens.

About the Author

Brendan McGarry
Brendan McGarry is the managing editor of Military.com. He can be reached at brendan.mcgarry@military.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Brendan_McGarry.
  • John

    When is Israel going to stand on it’s own financially? The US and German taxpayers have been giving them 20+ billion dollars a year for decades. It has to come to an end sometime. Doesn’t it?

  • morgan378

    Along with the other ordinance Israel requires to maintain a modicum of defensive protection with Iron Dome – I have to wonder if another player came in to resupply Hamas to break the blockade and let a flood of armaments in for their use to continue or increase their attacks on Israel. If that occurred to where the deaths in Israel were equal to or more than those in Gaza would the World STILL blame Israel for Palestinian deaths? Lopsided or not – the Right to Defend is predominantly a Right most accurately determined by those being ATTACKED. Hamas stated they will not stop attacking Israel “UNTIL OUR DEMANDS ARE MET”. Pundits say Netenyahu is the “Face of Israel”- well, of course – but I haven’t seen the “Face of Hamas” in any one Leader. The meeting with Abbas prior to this conflagration was a measure to make him the Leader of Gaza and the West Bank – so more than likely then it was prescient of him to hold back once Hamas’s plans were determined. Hamas, gaining office with Social Assistance to Gaza’s people, – seems to have been slowed down in this and with the blockade in force found using what funds they had was wasted building tunnels that don’t appear to have been of much use for attacks on Israel – since instead of taking the fight to Israel they brought it to the people of Gaza themselves by the cowardly firing of missiles/rockets instead of utilizing them to send fighters through the tunnels to battle directly with the IDF. In 3 weeks, having sent 2500 projectiles into Israel, to expect Israel to merely attempt to shoot them down w/o destroying their launch facilities (a little more complex than what’s necessary for just rockets) is part and parcel of the Right to Defend one’s Nation – so the US, UN, et. al. need prepare themselves for even more deaths in Gaza as Hamas Leaders have made themselves comfortable below ground with amenities while the Palestinian People pay the price for their aggression above it without amenities and no real leadership to over throw those directly responsible for being used as simple cannon fodder by their own representatives. How a cease fire can be arranged when no one appears responsible on Gaza’s behalf – and the failed cease fires killing more Palestinian’s who don’t seem to be included in Hamas’s plans or notified to get their children out of the way – but to get to Gaza City out in the open along the way with little knowledge of why – when they’re afraid to leave their homes in the first place seems to indicate Hamas wishes to use Gaza City to launch a large amount of missiles and rockets – setting their youth in the direct line of the return fire from Israel.

  • oblatt22

    Without American support Israel would have to be serious about peace. As bin Laden realized if you want to achieve anything in the middle east you have to go after the main player. How long after other groups realize it too.

  • Mike Roberts

    With Britain in WW2 such aid was under the lend lease program to support their defense, prior to the US joining in.

    The Brits finally paid that off on 29 December 2006, so why can’t Israel – a rich state- also take a loan and pay their way like the US’s best ally did in their rime of need?

  • DB-1

    WOW! there seem to be a lot of Israeli haters on here…

  • tmb2

    “You’re killing too many civilians, but here’s another $250 million. No red tape and no caveats.” Mixed signals much?

  • hibeam

    Every time Hamas picks a fight with Israel they get their face beat to a bloody pulp. Then they show their sad pulpy face to the world and a lot of fools feel pity for them. There is a very easy way to stop having a pulpy face. A very easy way.

    • rtsy

      If an international force rolled into your country and told you it didn’t belong to you anymore a pulpy face would be the only way for you to show you hadn’t given up.

      • rtsy

        Yes, our genocide of the Native Americans is a great punchline.

        I’m sure it gets great laughs in Gaza.

      • Eggshen

        You are ignorant of history or just telling a lie. Hamas has been lobbing rockets into Israel an digging tunnels under their boarding for years. Israel responds by bitch slapping Hamas, who use civilians as human shields, and you try to blame Israel?

        • rtsy

          I’m very aware of history.

          Palestine was ethnically cleansed after WWII and turned into a jewish state. Over 500 settlements, towns, and cities were invaded by Jews armed with American guns, tanks, and bombs. The Jews than claimed their holy right to the land and established Israel with the backing of America and recognition in the then new UN, creating the situation we have today.

          Palestinians have been fighting back ever since, and Israel has fought tooth and nail to keep what they feel is theirs.

          The current state of the conflict is ugly on both sides, and both sides are to blame.

    • Lewis

      You expect too much of them. They’re the traumatised sons of traumatised fathers of traumatised grandfathers. They don’t know what the fuck they’re doing.

    • blight_asdf

      If they give America back to the Amerindians and herded USAians back to the reservations, why would I expect the latter to not fight? Resistance is futile, but humans rarely know better.

  • Harry

    We’ve got illegals pouring over our borders and some of their criminals that will be preying on Americans and the Congress and President are doing NOTHING but Israel gets our taxpayer dollars whenever they ask!!!???????

  • Rob

    This report serious? Israel that short on funding of these defender missiles? it leaks a huge weakness to the ones funding Hamas. Truth is they are funded by supporters across Middle East & it includes OIL barons & millionaires that also fund Al queada & ISIS. To me this report is very grim as this is not a vast country with large resources. It is only the size of New Jersey. This is horrible. Much more I want to say but things like this report should not be on a public site. Hopefully it is really just that Israel is using us and taking advantage of some extra funding

    • Rob

      To whomever put the negative vote, realize our nation’s enemies can see this site just like anyone else in the world. anything that exposes weaknesses of us, or our allies should not be here.

    • blight_adsf

      Why go into deficits when the US is all too willing to do it for you?

      Israel will probably come into the gas field funds soon. I would laugh if there was natgas off of Gaza Strip, but I’m sure Israel would claim them too. My guess is their EEZ covers Gaza Strip up to the littorals.

      Israel is the most diversified economy of the Middle East. Even less crazy countries like Jordan aren’t as diversified. Many Palestinians aren’t happy that their ancestors got pushed off their land in ’49; but they are probably more concerned with feeding their families, the rump states that they live in and the constant search and destroy that comes with the tit-for-tat of Qassam and Hellfire.

      Flipping the guerrilla perspective, how does Israel cut off the people from the guerrillas?

  • hibeam

    Israel has Natural Gas now. So the bad guys must be having brain hemorrhages over that. I’ll be glad when the oil runs out and the bad guys can go back to moving sand around and annoying goats.

  • ghostwhowalksnz

    Iraq has more oil reserves than entire US, along with Venezuela, Russia, Iraq.
    Israel is about 95th in the world.

    Theres a bit of a problem there in US foreign policy, dont you think.
    Just as well you rely on some die hard wahabi monarchs ( who are funding extremists like from Bin Laden to ISIS to hamas

  • Bronco46

    The Palestinians leadership is responsible for the casualties not the Israeli’s. It’s because they are good at their jobs that they have had so few casualties; even though they take so many chances to prevent harm to even more Palestinians.
    It’s about time we did something in this latest attempt by the Palestinians to tunnel into and bomb Israel; and accomplish their stated goals to destroy Israel.

    • rtsy

      Its not so much that they want to destroy israel, its just that they want their country back.

  • Joe

    Not our fight. should not be getting our money.

    • Joe

      it’s ll our fight. Your just blind to see it. The more Hamas fight, the more Israel have to defend. The more wasted money that they would be investing in us instead of needing these funds. it’s so sad to see so many American have no clue that is really happening. 20 yers from now maybe more of you will understaand

      • rtsy

        You have it backwards, we invest in Israel, not the other way around.

  • Eggshen

    So if Russia invades Poland should we say, “not our fight”? Where do you Israel-haters draw the line between good and evil if not here? Hamas is a radical Islamo-facist organization that wants to kill every non-believer. Israel is a democracy that wants to live in peace. If those lines aren’t clear to you or you choose to use some sort of bullshit moral relativism then you have chosen the side of tyranny and evil by default.

    • Joe

      I dont hate israel. I just dont care about them at all. They are foreigners. same as the somalis, mexicans, iranians, and bushman. not my nation, not my people, not my problem.

      • Dec

        Exactly. This is especially important when the economy is degrading rapidly into 3rd world status.

  • C. Crawford

    If you really knew what was and continues to going on, you wouldn’t leave your comments.

  • AGrs

    This is technology invented by Israel, why would the US not pay for the benefit of the knowledge of this technology and all future technology, plus it is being tested and perfected all the time in a real life situation. Besides which, this technology is not harming anyone, it’s purpose is to protect. One day when your country is attacked you will thank Israel for their ingenious inventions.

  • Bengi the Great

    So so obvious. Israel stirs up Hamas everytime IronDome gets and upgrade so they can do real time testing. A few thousand innocents killed are not Israel’s concern. They want huge profits once it is perfected. This is a blood dome.

  • cliff

    Benjamen Natanyahu should have received the Nobel Peace Prize along with Obama, because they are both great war criminals.