AIPAC thanks Congress for including Israel assistance in spending bill


WASHINGTON (JTA) — The American Israel Public Affairs Committee thanked Congress for including defense assistance for Israel in its omnibus spending bill.

The bill includes $3.1 billion in defense assistance, $600 million in missile defense cooperation programs and $42 million for joint U.S.-Israel ventures in tracking and destroying tunnels, a method of terrorizing Israel that Hamas has introduced in recent years.

“AIPAC applauds Congress for including key provisions to help Israel address critical security challenges,” the statement said.

All of the funding was expected and has been on track since the Obama administration.

The bill also legislates reducing aid to the Palestinian Authority commensurate to the aid it gives to the families of terrorists killed or jailed by Israel. The State Department has in recent years practiced making such deductions.

President Donald Trump on Friday signed the $1.17 trillion bill, which keeps the government running through September. Missing from the bill was funding for Trump’s proposed border wall with Mexico, which Democrats vigorously oppose.