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American troops arrive in Israel for defense drill

The first of 1,000 U.S. troops have begun arriving in Israel to take part in a joint missile-defense exercise, the New York Times reports.

The three-week drill would be the sixth in a series of joint exercises, the report said. At least 3,500 Americans and 1,000 Israeli troops would prepare for the possibility of rockets and ballistic missiles. Patriot air defense batteries, an Aegis ballistic missile defense ship and related air defense systems will be deployed. Israel’s Arrow 2 and Iron Dome missile-defense systems, developed with U.S. financing, will also be used.

The cost to the U.S. is about $30 million; Israel will fork over a quarter of that, according to the article.    

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