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WASHINGTON — The Senate has once again included generous security aid to Israel in its annual defense authorization package, codifying a ten-year memorandum of understanding with the Jewish state negotiated by the Obama administration.
The omnibus bill includes $500 million in anti-missile defense aid and $50 million in anti-tunnel assistance. It also authorizes a joint US-Israeli assessment of the types of precision-guided munitions necessary for Israel to defend itself against Hezbollah and Hamas, mandating rapid acquisition and deployment for such arms.
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee praised passage of the legislation.
“This bipartisan legislation authorizes increases in US security assistance to Israel, and it encourages expanded weapons stockpiles and new US-Israel cooperation in anti-drone technologies, cybersecurity and space,” AIPAC said in a statement.
The bill also calls for increased cooperation between NASA and Israel’s Space Agency, extends the US War Reserve Stockpile in Israel by five years and authorizes a joint US-Israeli counter-drone program.