U.S. Congress approves $600 million aid for Israel

The U.S. congress approved Friday the transfer of 600 million dollar in aid to Israel for joint defense projects, in addition aid Israel receives from America, Haaretz Daily reported.

The aid approved will be used to fund joint security projects between Israel and the U.S, according to media reports.

The main component in the package, according to the Jerusalem Post, is the Arrow anti-missile system, a collaborative project between Israel Aircraft Industries and Boeing.

Congress provided 133 million dollars for the arrow, 45 million more than what the U.S. government requested for this project, so that the extra money be used to increase the pace of the production of the Arrow components in the U.S, and thus enable Israel complete its anti-missile shield.

Also some $10 million will be invested in developing a missile capable of intercepting short-range missiles.

It was reported earlier this month that Israel successfully tested its Arrow anti-missile system, in response to what the Defense Ministry officials described as the mounting threat of ballistic missiles in the region.

The 600 million dollar aid package also includes funding armor tiling for Bradley personnel carriers, for aircraft decoy systems and for the Hunter and Pioneer unmanned air vehicles, the Post stated.

“Congress is continuing its strong support for cutting-edge defense programs, which benefit the United States and Israel and strengthen their strategic partnership,” said Josh Block, spokesman for AIPAC, the pro-Israeli lobby, which accelerated the approval of the package.