Frankel Urges Increased Funding for U.S.-Israel Anti-tunnel Defense Program
Congresswoman Lois Frankel (FL-22) has called for Congress to increase investment to $42.7 million in Fiscal Year 2017 for the development of a new Joint U.S.-Israel Anti-tunnel Defense Program. This cooperative U.S.-Israel protection system is a response to underground tunnel networks from Gaza to Israel used by terrorist groups to stage attacks against Israelis.
“Israel is constantly threatened in air, on land, and underground.” Frankel said. “This joint investment will make both our nations more secure and bolster the global fight against terrorism.”
Israel faces a growing subterranean threat from groups who seek to destroy the Jewish State, including Hamas and Hezbollah. Instead of addressing the critical humanitarian needs of Gazans, Hamas has invested heavily in rebuilding the terror tunnel infrastructure that Israel largely destroyed during Operation Protective Edge in 2014. Underground tunnels leading from Gaza to Israel have been used to smuggle goods, people, and weapons. More concerning is that these underpasses are being used for kidnappings, attacks, and launching missiles.
Joint research in defense systems that locate and eliminate underground threats will advance the security of both the United States and Israel. Frankel is requesting a $2.7 million increase in the United States’ contribution to this joint program over last year’s funding levels to better address this growing threat.