WASHINGTON, July 28 — U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday signed a piece of legislation that gives Israel 70 million dollars for its "Iron Dome" rocket defense system, one day before his Republican rival in the 2012 presidential election Mitt Romney is scheduled to visit that country.
Obama signed the "United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012" to grant additional funding for Israel's production of the Iron Dome system for the year. The Iron Dome is a short-range rocket defense system, which has shot down rockets fired at Israel.
"I have made it a top priority for my administration to deepen cooperation with Israel across the whole spectrum of security issues — intelligence, military, technology," said Obama before signing the bill in the Oval Office.
According to a White House factsheet, Obama has, "despite tough fiscal times," fought for and secured full funding for Israel in the current fiscal year, including 3 billion dollars in Foreign Military Financing — the largest amount of funding for Israel in U.S. history.
The factsheet also said that Obama has secured an additional 205 million dollars in last fiscal year to help produce the Iron Dome, and intends to request additional funding for the Israeli system on top of the 70 million provided this year.
With the signing move occurring just one day before Romney's visit to Israel, U.S. media said that it appeared to have been timed to "upstage" Romney. (PNA/Xinhua)