Obama Aid to Israel a Ploy to Upstage Romney?

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President Obama announced Friday that he will release an extra $70 million in military aid to Israel on the heels of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's scheduled trip to the country this weekend.

The pledge, which was first announced in May, will go to help Israel's short-range rocket defense system known as Iron Dome.

The apparatus has proven successful in stopping rocket attacks fired at Israeli civilians from close range, like from Gaza.

Obama made the announcement from the Oval Office as he signed a bill to expand military and civilian cooperation with Israel.

Following the act, a Romney spokeswoman said the former Massachusetts governor was happy to see steps being taken to enhance security cooperation with Israel.

"Unfortunately 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," Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said.

The presumptive Republican nominee is a critic of Obama's policy toward Israel and has promised to ramp up U.S. aid to the Jewish state.

Even with a renewed focus on Israel, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney refused today to acknowledge Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Watch below.

Originally posted on Friday, Jul 27.

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