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March 9, 2018  RSS feed
World News

Text: T T T

U.S. House members from Florida show bipartisan support for Israel in proposed legislation

U.S. Representatives Charlie Crist (D-St. Petersburg) and Mike Johnson (R-LA) introduced the United States-Israel Joint Drone Detection Cooperation Act on Feb. 27, legislation establishing a strategic partnership between the United States and Israel to combat drone attacks from Iran and other adversaries.

The bill is meant to increase research initiatives between the two countries.

The impetus for the bill is the Iranian launch of a drone from Syria into Israel on Feb. 10. The drone flew through Israeli airspace for 90 seconds before being shot down, and per the bill itself, “Israeli officials stated that the unmanned aerial vehicle was an advanced piece of technology.”

Representatives Crist and Johnson want the ability to keep tabs on that kind of technology and study how it can be used against the U.S. and Israel to prepare for any future incidents.

“In the face of this new and growing threat, we have the opportunity to share our technology and expertise to the benefit of U.S. and Israeli security,” said Crist. “We call on Congress to act swiftly and strongly to fend off Iranian aggression and that of other adversaries in the region.”

As of last week, the bill was included in the more comprehensive U.S.-Israeli Security Assistance Authorization Act put forth by Florida Representatives Ileana Ros- Lehtinen (R-Miami) and Ted Deutch (D-Boca Raton).

That act would confirm the continuation of supplying funds to Israel for enhanced security projects, legislation that was put in place under the Obama administration in 2016. Under the Memorandum of Understanding between the U.S. and Israel, the U.S. has committed to allot $3.8 billion a year for 10 years to help Israel combat rising security threats in the region.

Florida Representatives Stephanie Murphy (D-Winter Park) and Brian Mast (R-Hutchinson Island) also introduced a bill, Deterring and Defeating Rocket and Missile Threats to Israel Act on Feb. 28, which would authorize the U.S. to supply aid above the $3.8 billion a year cap put forth in the Memorandum of Understanding, if Israel’s security needs warrant it, and it turns the memorandum into law.

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