Hamas’ Prime Minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, criticized on Friday the U.S. decision to provide Israel with aid to purchase additional Iron Dome batteries.
According to a report on Kol Yisrael radio, Haniyeh made the comments to pro-Palestinian Authority activists from several Arab and Muslim countries. Haniyeh claimed that providing aid to Israel will encourage it “to continue its war crimes.”
On Thursday, U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta told Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak that the United States will immediately give Israel $70 million for additional Iron Dome batteries.
Washington has already given Israel $205 million for the Iron Dome systems. Panetta said: “Our goal is to ensure that Israel has the necessary financing every year in order to produce these batteries that protect its citizens.”
The highly acclaimed Iron Dome technology was a reaction to the thousands of missiles that have rained down on Israeli citizens from Hamas-controlled Gaza. The system intercepted 90 percent of missile attacks on urban centers during the recent escalation in rocket attacks from Gaza towards Israel.
Hamas has in the past accused Israel of using Gaza as an experiment field for the Iron Dome and for other IDF weapons, ignoring the fact that the system was developed because terrorists from Gaza continuously fir rockets at Israel’s south.