US House approves funding for Israel’s missile defence programmes

16 June 2016 (Last Updated June 16th, 2016 18:30)

The US House of Representatives has reportedly passed a $576bn defence spending bill that includes $635m funding for Israel's missile defence.

The US House of Representatives has reportedly passed a $576bn defence spending bill that includes $635m funding for Israel's missile defence.

The bill could be rejected by President Barack Obama's administration, as the amount earmarked for Israeli missile defence programmes exceeded the sum it actually requested, media sources reported.

According to the Times of Israel, the bill includes $268.7m in research and development funding for US-Israel cooperative missile and rocket defence programmes.

"Israel faces growing missile threats, especially after the flawed nuclear deal gave Iran's terror-sponsoring regime over $100bn in sanctions relief."

It also provides $25m for US-Israel directed energy activities, such as laser technologies, to combat missiles and rockets.

In addition, $72m has been allocated for procurement of the Iron Dome rocket defence system; $150m for procurement of the David's Sling missile defence system; and $120m for procurement of the Arrow-3 missile defence system.

In a letter to Congress on Tuesday, the administration opposed the funding, which was $455m above the FY 2017 Budget request for Israeli missile defence procurement and cooperative development programmes.

Commenting on the administration's opposition, US Senator Mark Kirk said: "It's deeply disappointing to see the administration oppose congressional efforts to fully fund Israel's request for US-Israel cooperative missile defence programmes.

"Israel faces growing missile threats, especially after the flawed nuclear deal gave Iran's terror-sponsoring regime over $100bn in sanctions relief and as Iran has accelerated testing of ballistic missiles capable of striking Israel."

The administration also objected to the $324m reduction in funding for US ballistic missile defence programmes.

The cuts included $49m to homeland defence programmes, $91m to US regional missile defence programmes, $44m to missile defence testing efforts, and $140m to missile defence advanced technology programmes.