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Israel to spend U.S. money for Iron Dome with U.S. contractors

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JERUSALEM (JTA) – The Israeli government will spend more than half the money provided by the United States for the Iron Dome anti-missile system in the U.S.

Israel will pay U.S. contractors some 30 percent of the $176 million allocated for the Israeli-built missile interception system for the coming fiscal year and 55 percent for the next year, up from 3 percent, Bloomberg News reported, citing a U.S. Missile Defense Agency report to Congress.

“Under this agreement, the United States focus shifts toward maximizing economic activity in the United States while ensuring that Israel’s security needs are met,” the missile defense agency said in the April 2 report, Bloomberg reported Wednesday. “This new agreement strikes a better balance for both parties and should serve as a model for the future.”

Congress has approved $703 million since 2011 for Israel to spend on Iron Dome.

The agreement with Israel includes a provision that would allow production of a part to revert to Haifa-based Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. if the U.S. price is 5 percent higher than what it would cost to produce in Israel.

The first contracts are expected to be awarded in July.

Iron Dome intercepted about 400 of the rockets — 85 percent — fired at Israel from Gaza during eight days of fighting in 2012, the Israeli military said.

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