The Obama administration said Thursday, May 17, that it would rush $70 million to Israel in order to enhance its Iron Dome rocket defense system, with more money in the pipeline, JTA
reported. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said Thursday after meeting with his Israeli counterpart, Ehud Barak, that he was directed by President Obama to meet Israel’s needs for the system. “My goal is to ensure Israel has the funding it needs each year to produce these batteries that can protect its citizens,” Panetta said. Legislation under consideration in Congress, shaped in consultation with administration officials, would deliver $680 million to Israel for the system, which earlier this year successfully intercepted rocket fire from the Gaza Strip. Barak in a statement said he “greatly appreciated” the announcement.