Active Iron Dome system
Active Iron Dome systemFlash 90

The US Senate on Thursday night approved by a majority of 68 to 31 the omnibus spending package which includes defense aid for Israel.

The legislation, which the House of Representatives approved on Wednesday, includes more than $4.8 million in aid for Israel and $1 billion in additional funding for the Iron Dome missile defense system.

The bill will now to go President Joe Biden, who will sign it into law.

After the round of fighting in Gaza last May, Biden said he ensured then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of his “full support to replenish Israel’s Iron Dome system.”

The House in September overwhelmingly approved funding for the Iron Dome as a standalone measure following a brief uproar about including it in a stopgap funding measure.

Despite its overwhelming support in the House as a standalone bill, the Iron Dome funding has remained stagnant in the Senate since October due to Republican Sen. Rand Paul blocking it from being fast-tracked through the Senate via unanimous consent.

In October, Paul blocked a Senate effort to fast-track $1 billion in emergency Iron Dome missile defense system funding to Israel.

Days earlier, Paul objected to swift passage of the Iron Dome bill. In December, he once again blocked attempts to pass the law.

The House vote on Wednesday was welcomed by AIPAC and also by Defense Minister Benny Gantz, who expressed his gratitude to the US administration for the unprecedented funding.

"Thank you to the U.S. House of Representatives for passing critical security and missile defense funding for Israel in the spending package," Gantz wrote on Twitter. "Iron dome replenishment and missile defense will ensure Israel’s military edge, secure our citizens, and bolster US-Israel cooperation.

"I would like to thank President Joe Biden for his leadership and his unwavering support for the security of the State of Israel," Gantz added, "and I would also like to thank my friend the U.S. Secretary for Defense, for his steadfast commitment to the extraordinary U.S.-Israel ties and defense cooperation.

"Once again we witness the extraordinary bond between the U.S. and Israel - a relationship that spans both sides of the aisle and that is based on common values, strategic interests and a shared aspiration for a more peaceful and free world."

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said, "The U.S. Senate's approval last night of security assistance for Israel, including for the Iron Dome, is additional proof of the commitment of the U.S., Congress, & the Biden administration to the security & welfare of Israel and the special relations between our two countries."

"I thank the Senate, and especially Leaders Schumer and McConnell, for their steadfast support and friendship towards Israel and its citizens. Bipartisan support is a cornerstone and an expression of the strength of our relationship with our greatest ally.

"I want to thank President Biden and his administration for their dedication, friendship, and leadership."