April 5, 2012
Israel asks US for $700 million in military aid
Jerusalem requests Washington to allocate funds for more Iron Dome, Magic Wand anti-missile batteries. Deal will provide Israel with near-complete missile defense until 2015
Israel has asked the United States for assistance estimated at $700 million in order to produce more Iron Dome and Magic Wand missile and rocket defense batteries, sources told Ynet on Wednesday.
The Iron Dome is designed to intercept rockets fired from a relatively short range, while the Magic Wand intercepts missiles fired from a range of at least 70km, including cruise missiles and missiles with ballistic warheads such as the Squd, Shihab and Sejil.
According to sources privy to the deal, Jerusalem and Washington are currently discussing the aid package, which if approved will allow Israel to equip its defense apparatus with four additional Iron Dome batteries and accelerate the completion of the Magic Wand system, which is still under development.
The sources also noted that if the deal is approved, Israel will be able it to protect its territory from rocket and missile attacks until 2015. The US Congress and administration’s apparent willingness to allocate the funds may be seen as an attempt to incentivize Israel to delay its decision vis-à-vis a military strike on Iranian nuclear facilities.
According to estimates, Israel will have six Iron Dome batteries instead of the four it currently has by the second half of 2013.