Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said that Israel will request $1 billion from the United States to replenish its Iron Dome missile defense system following the 11-day conflict between the Jewish state and the Hamas terrorist group.
Graham, who met with top Israeli officials this week, made the announcement during a press conference in Jerusalem on June 1. During his visit, he met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz.
“There will be a $1 billion request coming to the Pentagon this week from the defense minister to replenish the Iron Dome and a few other things, to upgrade the system,” Graham, who sits on the Senate Appropriations Committee, said at the press conference.
“This was the largest sustained assault in maybe history and the Iron Dome performed incredibly well, saving thousands of Israeli lives and tens of thousands of Palestinian lives. So I would imagine that the administration would say yes to this request and it would sail through Congress.”
Graham also told reporters that he believes there will be bipartisan support for the request given that there is “a wide and deep support for Israel among the Democratic Party.”
President Joe Biden committed to replenishing the Iron Dome system in a press conference last month. He also said he will work with the Palestinian Authority, which lost control of the Gaza Strip to Hamas in the Gaza War of 2008-2009, to provide humanitarian relief for the people of Gaza and reconstruction efforts there.
“I believe the Palestinians and Israelis equally deserve to live safely and securely and enjoy equal measures of freedom, prosperity, and democracy,” Biden said.
“My administration will continue our quiet, relentless diplomacy toward that end, I believe we have a genuine opportunity to make progress and I’m committed to working for it.”
The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request by The Epoch Times for comment on Graham’s remarks.
The mutual cease-fire between Israel and Hamas began on May 21 and has since remained in effect. The conflict started when Hamas launched rockets into Israel over a court case to evict several Palestinian families in East Jerusalem that triggered riots.
Hamas fired more than 4,000 rockets into Israeli civilian areas beginning on May 10, while Israel responded with hundreds of airstrikes and several ground strikes to take down the offending and supporting Hamas infrastructure.
Netanyahu previously said in a statement to media that Israel’s operations were aimed at eliminating terrorist groups that threatened the safety of Israelis and “to restore quiet and security to you, the citizens of Israel.”
At least 230 Palestinians were killed and 1,710 people were wounded, according to the Gaza Health Ministry, although it doesn’t separate the numbers into civilians and fighters.