Blinken: US committed to replenishing Iron Dome

Secretary of State reiterates Biden administration's position that Israel has a right to defend itself against rockets.

Elad Benari ,

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken
State Department Photo by Freddie Everett

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Monday that the United States is committed to replenishing Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system.

"We are working with the Israelis to fully understand their needs and working with Congress," Blinken told the House Foreign Affairs Committee during testimony on US President Joe Biden's 2022 budget request and the department's foreign policy priorities, according to i24NEWS.

"This is under very active review and we look forward to working with you to make sure that happens," Blinken said of fulfilling Israel's request for $1 billion in emergency funding for Iron Dome following 11 days of fighting with Gaza-based terrorist groups who launched more than 4,000 rockets at Israeli territory.

The Secretary of State reiterated the Biden administration's position that Israel has a right to defend itself against rockets fired indiscriminately at Israeli civilians.

"It would be unacceptable for any country to have rockets rain down on it indiscriminately targeting civilians and not do something about it," Blinken said, according to i24NEWS.

He added that as a democracy, Israel has an "extra burden to do everything it possibly can to avoid civilian casualties."

On Hamas, Blinken called it "hard to fathom" how anyone in the world could accept a terrorist organization that has "vowed in its own charter to destroy Israel."

After the recent round of fighting, US President Joe Biden said he ensured Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of his “full support to replenish Israel’s Iron Dome system.”

US Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said last week that Israel would ask the US for $1 billion in aid to replenish the Iron Dome missile defense system.

“There will be a billion-dollar request coming to the Pentagon this week from the defense minister to replenish the Iron Dome and a few other things to upgrade the system,” Graham said at a news conference in Jerusalem.

“The Iron Dome performed incredibly well, saving thousands of Israeli lives and tens of thousands of Palestinian lives, so I would imagine that the administration will say yes to this request and it will sail through Congress,” he added.

At least 55 House members, both Democrats and Republicans, last week wrote to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin urging the Pentagon to quickly work with Congress on fulfilling any request to restock Israel's supply of interceptors for the Iron Dome system.



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