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Washington, DC—Today, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), the President Pro Tempore of the US Senate, introduced the United States-Israel Cooperation Expansion Act. This legislation calls for greater support for security, law enforcement training, and cooperation between the United States and Israel. It also works to continue bilateral training between the United States and Israeli law enforcement personnel with a focus on best practices for anti-terrorism, community policing, managing mass casualties, and countering threats posed by illicit cross-border tunneling and unmanned aerial systems. 

Recent events in Israel remind us of the threats the country and its citizens face every day. We must remain steadfast in our support of the State of Israel and its right to defend itself, its existence, and its people.” Hatch said. “Moreover, we must recognize that in supporting Israel, we are not only fulfilling our promise to one of America’s closest allies—we are also standing up for democracy and freedom in a part of the world that needs it most. I call on my colleagues in the Senate to join me in standing with Israel and the principles it stands for.”

Statement of support

Julie Rayman, American Jewish Committee Director of Political Outreach:

“Years of confronting common threats have demonstrated that the United States and Israel are stronger when we cooperate in matters of security, law enforcement, and the protection of civil society. Now, when Hamas rockets are raining down over Israel, this essential alliance and the urgency of expanded cooperation are brought into even sharper focus. The U.S.-Israel Cooperation Expansion Act takes important and timely steps that members from both sides of the aisle have endorsed and AJC is proud to support.” 

Background

This legislation calls on the United States to support the inclusion of Israel in international law enforcement training programs and the promotion of those programs in Israel. Additionally, it calls on further training and education opportunities between the United States and Israeli law enforcement, with a particular focus on protection of both civilian and diplomatic facilities from threats emanating from illicit cross-border tunneling and unmanned aerial systems.