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March 5, 2014 6:39 pm

House of Representatives Passes U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Bill

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U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) on stage with AIPAC board member Mort Fridman at this week's 2014 AIPAC Policy Conference. Royce is a co-sponsor of the newly passed United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2013. AIPAC applauded the bill's adoption. Photo: AIPAC. – The American Israel Political Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on Wednesday applauded the adoption of the United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2013 by the House of Representatives.

The passage of the bill in a 410-1 vote comes after AIPAC held its annual policy conference this week in Washington, D.C.

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The bipartisan bill, co-sponsored by U.S. Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Ed Royce (R-CA), and Eliot Engel (D-NY), declares Israel as a “major strategic partner” of the U.S.

AIPAC said in a statement that the bill would “dramatically strengthen the relationship between the two allies as they work to confront new threats and challenges in the Middle East.”

In addition, the bill includes a number of areas of expansion between the allies, such as expanding forward-deployed U.S. weapons stockpiles in Israel, the transfer of essential military equipment to Israel, a visa waiver program for Israel, assistance for the Iron Dome missile defense system, and the promotion of cooperation in energy, water, science, homeland security, and agriculture.

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