Please join us in cosponsoring H.R. 2062, the Defend Israel Act, a bill that will authorize expedited funding for Israeli anti-missile defense systems in Fiscal Year 2018.
The Jewish State of Israel, as an indispensable ally of the United States with whom we enjoy mutually-beneficial military, intelligence, and technological cooperation, deserves all necessary assistance to defend its citizens from the many threats it faces. For years, Israeli civilians have been forced to live under the grave threat of frequent missile, rocket, and mortar shell attacks fired by foreign terrorist organizations, Hamas on its southern border, and Hezbollah on its northern border, which have killed, wounded, or inflicted psychological trauma on countless innocents.
On February 27, 2017, Hamas launched several high-trajectory rocket attacks on the Western Negev. This followed numerous rocket launches over the last two and a half years since Operation Protective Edge. Experts estimate that Hamas has thousands of rockets in its arsenal. Hezbollah has a missile arsenal of 120,000 to 150,000 short and medium range rockets.
The United States remains committed to Israel’s qualitative military edge, including its advantage over non-state actors like Hamas and Hezbollah and against hostile states like Iran. We can help to advance our own vital national security interests and the cause of peace by supporting Israel’s ability to defend itself against rockets, missiles, and other threats.
Last year, the United States signed the largest assistance agreement ever with the State of Israel, which will provide up to $38 billion to Israel over a ten-year period. However, this agreement will not take effect until 2019. Therefore, we invite you to support $705.8 million in Fiscal Year 2018 for Israeli anti-missile defense systems to safeguard our friend and ally in this period prior to 2019.