Haaretz Reports: The United States would spend an additional $680 million through 2015 to strengthen Israel’s short-range rocket shield under a plan crafted by Republicans from the House of Representatives, two congressional staff members disclosed on Friday. The figure could put election-year pressure on President Barack Obama’s administration to spell out what it deems suitable support for the “Iron Dome,” which has played an increasingly important role in Israeli security.
Israel has so far deployed three operating units of the system, which helped thwart Palestinian rocket salvos during a flare-up in fighting around the Gaza Strip last month. It has spoken of needing a total of 13 or 14 units to protect various fronts.
The system intercepted more than 80 percent of the targets it engaged in March when nearly 300 rockets and mortars were fired at southern Israel, saving “many lives,” a U.S. Defense Department spokesman said on March 27.