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Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

House Democrats on Tuesday stripped $1 billion for Israel's Iron Dome defense system from its short-term government funding bill after backlash from progressives, people familiar with the decision tell Axios.

Why it matters: There has never been a situation where military aid for Israel was held up because of objections from members of Congress. While the funding will get a vote in its current defense bill, the clash underscores the deep divisions within the Democratic Party over Israel.

What we're hearing: Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid spoke to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) on Tuesday about the holdup in the voting on the Iron Dome funding.

  • Lapid’s office said Hoyer stressed the holdup was "technical” due to disagreements in Congress about the deficit and conveyed the commitment by him, the White House, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to pass the Iron Dome funding soon.

The backdrop: Politico first broke the news about the funding being removed from the continuing resolution, which is expected to be considered by the House later today.

  • The funding has been a key priority for Hoyer, but its supporters ultimately caved after several progressive members like Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) threatened to vote against the short-term funding bill, which also includes language to raise the debt ceiling.
  • “The Iron Dome will be included in the final, bipartisan and bicameral fiscal year 2022 defense bill," said a House Appropriations Committee spokesperson.

Flashback: President Biden committed publicly in May at the end of the Gaza war to replenish Israel's Iron Dome system. Biden repeated the pledge last month during his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

What they're saying: Israeli officials told Axios' Barak Ravid that the development is a result of the 12 years of Netanyahu policies, which harmed Israel's bipartisan status in America.

This story has been updated with new reporting about Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid's call with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer.

Go deeper

Oct 27, 2021 - World

Scoop: Blinken protests Israel settlements approval in "tense" phone call

Benny Gantz (L) and Tony Blinken. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/Pool/AFP via Getty

Secretary of State Tony Blinken protested the decision to approve 3,000 new housing units in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank during a tense phone call on Tuesday with Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, three Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: This is the first time new construction in the settlements has been approved since President Biden assumed office, and the Biden administration had been privately pressing the Israeli government not to proceed.

Oct 26, 2021 - World

Scoop: Biden administration objects to Israeli settlements plan

Israeli PM Naftali Bennett (L) meets with Secretary of State Tony Blinken. Photo: Olivier Douliery/Pool/AFP via Getty

The Biden administration has privately protested to the Israeli government over its plan to approve the planning and construction of more than 3,000 new housing units in the Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, sources briefed on the issue tell me.

Why it matters: The approvals for new homes in the settlements will be the first since President Biden assumed office, and come after Biden and his top aides personally pressed Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to restrain settlement activity and decrease the number of new housing units.

Oct 27, 2021 - World

Putin seeks Israel's help in easing U.S. sanctions on Syria

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (L) and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi. Photo: Yevgeny Biyatov/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin asked Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to encourage the Biden administration to ease some of its sanctions on Syria in order to allow Russian companies to take part in the reconstruction of the country, Israeli officials briefed on the talks tell me.

The big picture: The U.S. Caesar Act, which was signed into law by President Trump in Dec. 2019, imposed sanctions on several sectors of the Syrian economy, including energy and infrastructure. The law is the main deterrent for foreign companies interested in getting involved in the Syria reconstruction effort.