By Ramsey Cox
“Throughout this year, and especially during the past week prior to the recent ceasefire, we have witnessed the citizens of Israel suffer from a continual barrage of missiles, rockets, and mortar shells from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip,” Wicker said in a statement Friday. “The Iron Dome system’s success has protected civilians living in Israel’s population centers targeted by these rockets.
The Palestinian group, Hamas, has recently launched rocket attacks against Israel from Gaza.
Wicker’s amendment, which passed by unanimous consent, says citizens of Israel have “suffered under a continual barrage of missiles, rockets and mortar shells from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.”
The Iron Dome missile defense program utilizes radar technology to track short-range rockets, allowing an Israeli missile to intercept the attack.
Israel is currently using five Iron Dome batteries, which the amendment says isn’t enough. The amendment says Israel needs an additional 10 batteries. President Obama has said he wants additional funding for the Iron Dome program and the amendment expresses Senate support for such action.
On Thursday, the United Nations voted to grant the Palestinian Authority statehood, which could inflame recent conflicts in the region. The United States and Israel did not support the Palestinian effort for statehood.
Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) co-sponsored the amendment.
The Senate is still working on amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act, S. 3254, with final passage likely next week.