A US House panel has unveiled a $608 billion defense spending bill that restores some of the programs the Pentagon wanted to cut next year and provides nearly $1 billion for Israel's missile defense systems including the Iron Dome and Magic Wand.
The House Appropriations Committee released the bill on Monday that includes $519.2 billion for the fiscal 2013 base budget and $88.5 billion for Afghanistan and other counterterrorism activities. That's $1.1 billion more than the current level and $3.1 billion more than President Barack Obama requested.
In the beginning of the Month it was reported that Israel asked the United Stated for a sum of $1 billion to help develop its missile defense systems. Last year, President Obama approved the allocation of $205 million for the development of the Iron Dome and Magic Wand programs.
Iron Dome battery. (Photo: Yariv Katz, Yedioth Ahronoth)
The reinforcement of Israel's aerial defense systems comes following the latest round of escalation between Gaza Strip terror groups and Israel, and reports that Israel requires 10 more batteries, estimated at $50 million each, in order to provide foolproof protection to its citizens.
Last month it was reported that Jerusalem has requested Washington to allocate some $700 million for
the production of four more Iron Dome batteries and to accelerate the development of the Magic Wand defense system. In addition, Israel requested $300 million in order to stockpile a large supply of intercepting missiles.
In the second half of 2013, Israel is expected to have a total of six Iron Dome batteries, two more than what it currently has.