"I just recently visited Kibbutz Sasa, the home of Plasan," Shapiro said at the IDC Herzliya Conference on Wednesday. "Plasan met the call to help protect American soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan when they were able to surge the production of up-armor kits for Humvees and for mine-resistant vehicles. These armor kits were critical in saving the lives of thousands of US soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen when they faced the threat of IEDs and RPG attacks."
- MI chief: Iran can produce 4 bombs
- 'Sanctions not only option against Iran'
- IsraAid honored for saving lives in Japan
During his visit to the kibbutz, the ambassador got a chance to review many thank you letters sent to Plasan officials by American parents who said it was thanks to the Israeli armor that their sons' lives were saved.
"It's no exaggeration to say that thousands of American service members' lives have been saved by the work and the technology that's been developed here," Shapiro noted afterwards.
According to a statement by the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, while visiting Kibbutz Sasa, "The Ambassador saw the full range of products, from reactive armor, to purpose built vehicles, to body armor."
Plasan has delivered more than 8,000 armor kits to US units on active duty, according to US Embassy in Tel Aviv. "Israel is a world leader in armor technology and the Ambassador expressed his gratitude for the dedication to quality expressed at Plasan," the statement read.
"Israel is a strategic asset and partner to the United States. What makes us allies is the unique combination of common values and common interests. We don’t have any better partner in the Middle East, a strategically critical and unstable part of the world," Shapiro remarked at the IDC Herzliya Conference.
He went on to say, "When you look at the burgeoning economic relationship we have, particularly in the high-tech sector, if we didn’t have the start-up nation here in Israel, we would have to invent it – for the sake of our own economy.
"Virtually every major US technology company has chosen to base major research and development centers here in Israel to draw on the talent and innovation of the Israeli work force and start-up culture."
Dana Lanzer contributed to this report
- Receive Ynetnews updates
directly to your desktop