Israel will ask the U.S. for $1 billion in additional emergency military aid this week, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C) told Fox and Friends on Tuesday and Israeli officials confirmed.
Why it matters: Israeli officials the aid is needed to replenish the Iron Dome aerial defense system and to purchase munitions for the Israeli Air Force — mainly precision-guided bombs. But several congressional Democrats have argued against providing additional weapons to Israel after at least 256 Palestinians were killed during last month's fighting in the Gaza Strip, mainly by Israeli air strikes.
- The Iron Dome system was used to intercept hundreds of rockets from Hamas during the 11 days of fighting, and Biden has already said the U.S. would replenish it.
Driving the news: Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz will arrive in Washington on Thursday for talks with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, Gantz’s office said. The aid request will be the focus of Gantz's visit, Israeli officials say.
- While in Washington, Gantz will also discuss the Iran nuclear deal, the Gaza ceasefire and reconstruction efforts and the situation in Lebanon.
- Worth noting: The Biden administration has promised $110 million to go toward reconstruction efforts in Gaza.
What he's saying: “There is going to be a request made by the Israelis to the Pentagon on Thursday for a billion dollars in aid to replenish Iron Dome batteries. It will be a good investment for the American people. I will make sure in the Senate that they get the money," Graham told Fox a day after meeting Netanyahu and Gantz in Israel.
Flashback: In 2016, Israel and the U.S. signed an agreement for $3.8 billion in military aid to Israel over 10 years, with Israel able to ask for additional funding in case of an emergency.