The Congress voted Friday morning to transfer an additional $225 million to Israel for the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system.
The move came less than 24 hours after Hamas terrorists kidnapped an Israeli soldier during a cease fire demanded by the United States and the United Nations.
President Barack Obama immediately signed the measure into law, and the funds were transferred overnight, according to a report posted by ABC News.
The U.S. Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee two weeks ago approved the transfer of $351 million, bringing the total appropriations for Israel to $621 million.
The funds transferred last night followed a unanimous vote of approval by the Senate just before the start of a long Congressional recess.
“This is a good example of us being able to put aside partisan considerations and work together to help our good friend, Israel,” Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told Politico.
“I will stand by Israel for a lot of personal reasons but certainly for political reasons,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). “And I have no hesitation in declaring to the world that’s how I feel.”
Senatora Tom Coburn (R-OK) tried but failed to convince his colleagues to pass an amendment to offset the costs of helping Israel by “reducing unnecessary contributions to the UN.”
United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay, meanwhile, earlier had slammed the United States for funding the entirely defensive Iron Dome anti-missile system.
“Americans not only equipped the Israelis with weapons used in the Gaza Strip but also helped Israel in the amount of almost a billion dollars to develop the Iron Dome system that protects the residents from rocket fire,” Pillay said. “Gaza residents were not given similar protection from Israeli bombing.”
Pillay has called for an international investigation of Israel’s counter terror operation in Gaza, claiming the IDF is guilty of war crimes. She has not, however, used the same criteria in addressing the actions of Hamas, who started this war, and freely uses civilians as human shields in combat and in placement of weaponry for use against Israel.
About the Author: Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.
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