February 16, 2014

In Israel, Kaine, King Visit Iron Dome Site, Meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ya'alon

JERUSALEM - Today U.S. Senators Tim Kaine, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near Eastern and Central and South Asian Affairs, and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Angus King, a member of the Senate Armed Services and Intelligence Committees, visited an Iron Dome site near the Gaza border, as well as had substantive discussions with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon.

During the meetings, Senators Kaine and King reaffirmed their strong support for the U.S.-Israel bilateral security relationship, including U.S. military assistance and intelligence sharing. They also expressed U.S. support for the short range rocket defense system Iron Dome while being briefed in southern Israel by the Israeli Iron Dome Battalion Commander. Kaine and King then received a briefing overlooking Gaza on the security challenges Israel faces in the south.

Senators Kaine and King expressed full confidence in Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, and urged the Prime Minister to continue his cooperation with and support of Secretary Kerry. The Senators also discussed ways to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapon capability, the horrific tragedy in Syria, and the ongoing security challenges in the Sinai.

Tomorrow Senators Kaine and King will meet with Justice Minister and chief Israeli negotiator for Israel-Palestinian peace talks, Tzipi Livni, meet Members of the Israeli Knesset, and visit Palestinian Authority officials in Ramallah.

###