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U.S. Report: Long arm of sequestration to hit U.S. aid to Israel

Special to WorldTribune.com

WASHINGTON — Congress has determined that Israel would lose U.S.
defense aid amid the new policy of sequestration.

The Congressional Research Service assessed that U.S. aid to Israel
would decline because of restrictions on the defense budget in 2013.
Sequestration requires the administration to cut $1 trillion in federal
spending over the next decade.

A report said that U.S. funding for Israel's Iron Dome could be slashed due to sequestration.

A report said that U.S. funding for Israel’s Iron Dome could be slashed due to sequestration.

“Economic conditions in the United States and Israel may affect future
U.S. aid to Israel,” CRS said in a report.

CRS, the research arm of the House and Senate, estimated that Israel
would lose at least $155 million in U.S. defense assistance through
sequestration. The report said Israel, allocated $3.1 billion in U.S.
defense aid for 2013, would see a decline in missile defense programs.

“Defense Department appropriations for Iron Dome and joint U.S.-Israeli
missile defense cooperation are considered non-exempt defense discretionary funding, and are therefore subject to a 7.8 percent reduction,” the report said.

The administration has pledged to relay some $300 million for Iron Dome
and other Israeli missile defense programs. Washington has already approved
$205 million for Israel to purchase Iron Dome batteries.

But CRS did not discount that sequestration would become more costly for
Israel. The report raised the prospect that the Defense Department or State
Department could revise funding programs to Israel in an effort to save on
foreign aid.

“With the prospect of prolonged fiscal austerity in the United States,
overall American public support for foreign aid may diminish in the years
ahead,” the report said.

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