Last updated: 25 December, 2011

US to give Israel extra aid for rocket system

Israel’s defence ministry said on Sunday that the United States has agreed to provide it with an additional $235 million (180 million euros) to finance its rocket defence system.

“The aid from the American Congress is a supplementary step in the reinforcement of Israeli-American relations in the area of defence,” Defence Minister Ehud Barak said in a statement.

The additional funds come on top of the three billion dollars of annual military aid given by the US to Israel.

This aid is entirely spent buying US weapons, in accordance with the terms of a 10-year bilateral deal signed in 2007.

Last spring, Israel put in place its “Iron Dome” anti-rocket defence system, financed by the US, to protect areas in southern Israel that are fired on from the Gaza Strip.

While the anti-missile batteries deployed near the Palestinian territory have offered some protection, they do not intercept all the rockets fired.