Israeli Defence Ministry announced on December 15 that it had conducted a series of successful live-fire drills with its multi-range missile defence system, a move that aims at providing protection against threats posed by its arch-enemy Iran. The drill was conducted over the Mediterranean sea and tested the system’s capability to intercept aerial targets ranging from small drones to larger ballistic missiles. Tensions between the two nations surged after Iran accused Israel of assassinating its top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.
The test also demonstrated the interoperability of the multi-layered mechanism – with all of its components capable of intercepting threats simultnaeously. pic.twitter.com/7bo0rdrgIe
— Ministry of Defense (@Israel_MOD) December 15, 2020
The test marked the first time the country conducted an integrated test bringing together various components of missile defence. It included ‘Arrow’ which intercepts country’s long-range missiles, ‘David’s Sling’ which shoots down medium-range missiles and ‘Iron Dome’, which has for years been used to defend against incoming rocket fire from Gaza Strip.
Moshe Patel, Director of Israel’s Ministry of Defense said that the drill “demonstrated a multi-layered approach to dealing with threats” that incorporates all three systems. “Using this approach, a variety of threats may be identified and intercepted via full coordination and interoperability between the systems,” he added as per AP reports.
Iran accuses ‘usurper’ Israel
Last month, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani accused Israel of killing Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a top nuclear scientist long suspected by the West of masterminding a secret nuclear bomb programme. Calling it a “terrorist and desperate” act, the Shiite leader asserted that once again, the “evil hands of global arrogance” have been strained with the blood of “mercenary usurper Zionist regime”. Israel has not yet commented on the issue.
In the aftermath, an Iranian newspaper suggested that Tehran should attack the Israeli city of Haifa if its intelligence agency Mossad or the government had any role to play in the recent assassination of the nuclear scientist. The hardline Iranian newspaper, in an opinion piece, is reported to have said that an attack should be carried out in such a way that it destroys Israeli facilities and kills as many civilians as possible. Iran has blamed Israel for the murder of its top nuclear scientist and has vowed revenge against the perpetrators.