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US Congress approves funding for Israel's Iron Dome

Aug. 2, 2014 11:11 A.M. (Updated: Aug. 3, 2014 9:32 P.M.)
WASHINGTON (AFP) -- The US Congress approved $225 million for Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile defense system, credited with shooting down rockets fired by Gaza militants before they reach their targets.

House of Representatives approved the funding by 395-8 in a late Friday vote. The Senate earlier approved the measure unanimously before the start of its five week summer recess.

The measure now awaits President Barack Obama's signature.

The emergency spending funds, which adds to the US deficit, will restock Israel's Iron Dome system with interceptor missiles.

The funding is part of the administration's request of $3.1 billion for military assistance to Israel, the world's largest beneficiary of US foreign aid.

Congress appropriated $235 million to Iron Dome last year.

The White House had originally requested about $176 million for the system for 2015, but lawmakers increased the amount. Congress often increases funding for Israeli security projects sought by the president.
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