(December 17, 2019 / JNS) The U.S. Senate passed the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) on Thursday, which includes U.S.-Israel missile-defense cooperation and up to $25 million for U.S.-Israel counter-unmanned aerial-systems cooperation, as well as sanctioned President Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria, and its allies Iran and Russia.
U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to sign the $738 billion measure, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives last week.
A subsequent appropriations bill will be needed to fund it. The House passed its appropriations bill on Tuesday. The Senate is expected to pass it. Trump is expected to sign the spending bill.
The U.S. assistance authorizes cooperation with Israel on counter-tunnel and counter-aerial capabilities, and $500 million for developing and procuring the Iron Dome, David’s Sling and Arrow weapon systems.
The NDAA still prohibits the transfer of the F-35 fighter jet to Turkey for purchasing earlier this year the Russian S-400 missile-defense system.
The legislation also prohibits the Pentagon from supporting groups affiliated with Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
The new measure will now make it easier for victims of Iranian terrorism to seize assets belonging to the Iranian government.
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee and Christians United for Israel applauded the NDAA’s passage.
“Congress has once again shown that support for the U.S.-Israel relationship and opposition to regional adversaries like Turkey enjoys widespread bipartisan support,” said CUFI Action Fund chairwoman Sandra Parker in a statement. “Efforts by fringe elements to hijack the congressional and national discourse on the Middle East must be rejected at every turn.”
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