Photo Credit: "Fox & Friends" screengrab / Fox News
US GOP Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina touring sites with Iron Dome batteries and homes with rocket fire damage in southern Israel, June 1 2021

Israel will ask Washington DC for $1 billion this week to fund more Tamir interceptor missile batteries for the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system.

The Iron Dome intercepted and eliminated 90 percent of the rockets fired by Hamas in Gaza at southern Israeli population centers during Israel’s recent Operation Guardian of the Walls mini-war against the Iranian-backed terror group.

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US Republican Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told the “Fox and Friends” program on Fox News network Tuesday that he will support Israel’s funding request.

Defense Minister Gabi Ashkenazi is scheduled to fly to Washington DC on Wednesday for talks with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

Graham told reporters in Jerusalem, “There will be a billion-dollar demand at the Pentagon this week from Israeli Defense Minister [Benny Gantz] to replenish and improve the Iron Dome.

“The Iron Dome has worked incredibly well, saving thousands of Israeli lives and tens of thousands of Palestinian lives, so I imagine the administration [Joe Biden] will say yes to this request and go through Congress,” Graham added. He spoke with the network from Israel.

The South Carolina senator joined GOP Senators Bill Hagerty of Tennessee and Ted Cruz of Texas in a tour of cities in southern Israel on Monday and Tuesday to see the extent of the rocket damage from Israel’s recent miniwar with Iranian proxy Hamas.

“Every time someone tries to destroy Israel, our response is going to be more aid,” Graham declared. “It starts with replenishing the Iron Dome,” he said, referring to the aerial defense system as one of the most marvelous technologies in the history of warfare.”

He added, “A billion dollars investment would be a good investment for the American people.

Cruz told Fox News journalist Sean Hannity in a separate interview Tuesday about one Ashkelon home he saw after it was bombed by Hamas; “A Hamas rocket destroyed this home and killed an elderly woman’s caretaker,” he said, showing viewers the remains of the residence.

“You can see the elderly woman – that’s her bed – they got the warning that the rocket was coming. She evacuated, her caretaker didn’t make it out,” Cruz said, with visible sadness. “She was killed right here. . . This is all of the damage that came from one Hamas rocket, one terrorist who murdered a woman here in Ashkelon.”

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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.