United States will continue to boost Israel's Iron Dome air defense system 3011122

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Defense News - United States

 
 
Friday, November 30, 2012, 07:56 AM
 
United States will continue to boost Israel's Iron Dome air defense system.
United States Defense Secretary Leon Panetta pledged Thursday his country will continue to boost Israel's Iron Dome air defense system that has successfully intercepted hundreds of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip. Panetta said he was very proud that the Iron Dome system performed remarkably well during the clashes between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza, which had killed nearly 150 Palestinians and five Israelis before a cease-fire was reached last week.
     
United States Defense Secretary Leon Panetta pledged Thursday his country will continue to boost Israel's Iron Dome air defense system that has successfully intercepted hundreds of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip.
Iron Dome missile is launched to counter rockets fired from the Gaza Strip.
     

The system intercepted more than 400 rockets bound for Israeli cities, with a roughly 85 percent success rate, Panetta told a joint press conference in the Pentagon with his Israeli counterpart, Ehud Barak.

"Its success is a testament to the ingenuity of the Israeli people and to the commitment of the United States to Israel's security," he said. "Today, I assured the minister that our strong commitment to Iron Dome will continue into the future."

The United States provided 70 million U.S. dollars in fiscal year 2012 to fund the system, in addition to the 205 million dollars previously provided, the U.S. defense chief said.

"We will obviously continue to work together to seek additional funding to enable Israel to boost Iron Dome's capacity further and to help prevent the kind of escalation and violence that we've seen," he said.

Barak expressed appreciation of the U.S. plan. "The needs are much larger than what we have right now, and we are determined to complete the system, besides the operational offensive capacities of the Israeli armed forces," he said.

Panetta reiterated the U.S. strong support to Israel's self-defense rights and condemned the rocket attacks launched by Hamas militants against Israel.

 

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