US Establishes First Permanent Military Base in Israel

US troops

On Monday, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced the establishment of the first permanent US military base on Israeli soil charged with defending against rocket and missile attacks.

The base, created to be an independent facility but co-located at the Israel Defense Forces Air Defense School, will house dozens of US soldiers, though its function is mostly symbolic as it falls under the authority of Israel military directives and will not result in any operational changes, the Associated Press reports.

Though Brig. Gen. Haimovich declined to say if this meant U.S. forces would participate in Israeli combat operations in the future, he said it was "much more significant than that" simply to have a presence of U.S. soldiers in the country.

"It's nothing short of historic", he said.

This time past year, the United States pledged $38 billion dollars - the largest amount in its history - over the span of a decade while Obama was president, despite his sour relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Brig. Gen. Zvi Haimovich, the commander of the division, said the new base reflects the close military cooperation between Israel and the United States.

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"It's a message that says Israel is better prepared". Approximately 100 U.S. soldiers have been stationed in the Negev Desert since 2012 operating the Band-X radar system to integrate signals from guided-missile Aegis destroyers, military satellites in space, and ground based interceptors, Gizmodo reported at the time. Gen. John Gronski also stressed the "strong bond" between the two countries. The amount exceeds U.S. President Donald Trump's initial budget request by $97 billion and eclipses a $549 billion military spending cap established by the 2011 Budget Control Act, according to PressTV.

In April, Israel unveiled David's Sling, which was jointly developed with the USA and targets medium-range threats. It comes only a day after the U.S. Senate all but unanimously approved a ginormous $700-billion military bill.

In addition to Gronski, high-ranking military officers and officials from the United States and Israel participated in the ceremony, including Lt. Gen. Richard Clark, head of U.S. 3rd Air Force.

One Patriot missile intercepted the drone in the demilitarized zone between Israel and Syria on the Golan Heights, the IDF said.

The Arrow 3 missile defense system that was delivered to the Israeli Air Force on January 18, 2017.

Earlier this month, the air force opened a new Iron Dome battalion that will be responsible for "more systems" and provide "better preparedness against the threats form the northern and southern arenas", he said. The Iron Dome has also been deployed against threats along the northern border.

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