Obama announces new military aid for Israel before Romney visit


President Barack Obama signs the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act July 27, 2012 in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC.



President Barack Obama said he is releasing $70 million in additional military aid for Israel, days before Romney is due to visit Jerusalem., according to Fox News.

The Associated Press reported the increased aid will go to help Israel expand production of a short-range rocket defense system known as Iron Dome, which has stopped rocket attacks on Israelis from a close range, including from Gaza.

The aid package was first announced in May but Fox News said the timing appeared to come in order to "upstage Republican rival Mitt Romney's trip to Israel this weekend."

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"We are standing by our friends in Israel when it comes to these kinds of attacks," Obama explained, according to USA TODAY.

The president made the remarks Friday before signing the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act, legislation that underscores the America's commitment to Israel's security.

Both Romney and Obama are courting Jewish voters this election.

Romney campaign spokesman Ryan Williams attacked the president saying "this bill does nothing to address yesterday's evasiveness from the White House on whether President Obama recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, which raised doubt about the President's commitment to our closest ally in the region."