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Public Statements

Enhanced Israeli Missile Defense

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. NELSON of Florida. Mr. President, on April 19, 2012, I introduced S. 2325, the Iron Dome Support Act, along with my colleagues Senators BOXER and KIRK. This bipartisan bill authorizes further assistance to Israel for the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system. As of today, 17 of our colleagues have also joined us on this bill, because we all recognize that an investment in the Iron Dome is an investment in peace and security in the region.

The Iron Dome system uses small radar-guided missiles to blow up Katyusha rockets and mortar bombs in midair coming from 3 to 45 miles away--and can do so in any weather condition. The Israeli Defense Force reports that Iron Dome has already proven itself to be 90 percent successful intercepting rockets well before they could potentially hit residential neighborhoods, busy highways, shopping centers, or crowded streets in southern Israel.

This is an incredible piece of technology. Right now, there are 3 Iron Dome batteries in the south of the country. But Israel remains vulnerable to attacks on other fronts from terrorist groups. That is why I encourage my colleagues to join me in supporting S. 2325. Increased support for this legislation will send a strong message to include additional funding for Iron Dome batteries in order to protect all of Israel.

The Iron Dome is just one of the ways the United States supports Israeli missile defense. The Arrow Weapons System and David Sling protect Israel from medium and long distance threats to the country's existence.

We are developing these systems in cooperation with the Israeli government, so we can harvest the technology for future American systems. Our backing is important to keep the deployment of these systems on track as they must keep pace with the aggressive development of threat missiles.

As the markup of the various defense bills moves ahead this month and next, I urge my colleagues to fully support the accelerated deployment of anti-missile systems vital to the survival of our Israeli allies.

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