U.S. Rep. Howard L. Berman, the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, introduced today "Iron Dome Support Act" (IDSA) authorizing the President to provide assistance if requested by the Israeli government to procure additional Iron Dome anti-missile defense systems.
"When Palestinian terrorists launched their latest round of missile attacks on innocent Israelis, the Iron Dome anti-missile system saved innocent lives and prevented an escalation of hostilities and a full blown crisis," said U.S. Rep. Howard Berman (D-Valley Village). "Israel must have the ability to defend itself from rocket and missile attacks, and the United States will continue to stand by our strong ally if called upon in times of need."
During recent waves of rocket attacks, the Israel Defense Forces stated that the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system has achieved a success rate of more than 90 percent, intercepting rockets targeting civilian centers.
The legislation is co-sponsored by Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NY), Ranking Member of the Middle East and South Asia Subcommittee, U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH), the Chairman of the Middle East and South Asia Subcommittee, U.S. Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), and U.S. Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (R-NY).
In a recent op-ed in Politico, Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren wrote, "Three Iron Dome batteries are currently stationed in southern Israel Yet an additional 10 batteries, at least, will be necessary to protect the entire country For America, as well as for Israel, an investment in the Iron Dome system is an investment in diplomacy -- helping to create the conditions conducive to peace."
Berman is a long-time advocate of Israeli missile defense and has previously sponsored legislation to support that effort. During the last Congress, Rep. Berman was a co-author of the U.S.- Israel Rocket and Missile Defense Cooperation and Support Act of 2010, which supported President Obama's request to provide an additional $205 million in U.S. assistance to support the deployment of Israel's Iron Dome rocket and missile defense system.