JERUSALEM ($1=3.47 Israeli Shekels) — One of the world’s most successful anti-aircraft missile systems is the Iron Dome. Its best advertisement is the downing of 3,600 rockets out of 4,000 on the military wing of the Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip. This happened in 2021, during the weekly missile attack in the region.
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Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, Ukrainian President Mr. Volodymyr Zelensky has been trying to convince Israel of the need for the Ukrainian army to have this air defense system. It can be said that Kyiv’s demands are even before the war. This information was published by the Israeli media Yedioth Ahronoth. According to the media, on February 15, unsuccessful attempts were made by Ukraine to acquire the Iron Dome.
Since the war began on February 24th with the Russian army’s invasion of Ukraine, second failed attempts have been made. To everyone’s surprise, in the middle of the year, Ukraine abruptly changed course and abandoned the Iron Dome. Then in July, the Minister of Defense of Ukraine, Mr. Oleksiy Reznikov, explained that the Israeli-American system would not help Ukraine. He explained to the public that this system was developed to intercept slow missiles at low altitudes. The Iron Dome was designed for Israel’s needs under its hostile neighbors. “Iron Dome does not protect against cruise and ballistic missiles,” said Reznikov, speaking at a Forbes summit. At the time, he was referring specifically to Russian missiles.
But the situation has changed. After the abysmal almost month-long artillery war between Ukraine and Russia, Kyiv once again wanted an Iron Dome. The reason was that Russia acquired precisely “slow and low-flying” missiles from Iran and North Korea. North Korean missiles are known to have no guidance system and are classified as “dumb bombs”.
Ganz vs. Karako
Now Ukraine anxiously awaits the answer from Israel. The Middle Eastern country has a new Prime Minister – Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu. It was recently elected. Ukraine is subjected to air attacks by kamikaze drones – the Russian Lancet and the Iranian Shahed. Kyiv believes that Iron Dome will handle this type of attack. Again a letter was sent to Jerusalem.
The first answer came from Mr. Benny Gantz. He is Israel’s defense minister. Mr. Gantz stated that Israel cannot supply Ukraine with Iron Dome because Israel’s production capabilities are insufficient. According to Gantz, even if Israel changes its policy towards Russia and the war in Ukraine, “it is impossible to empty our supply of air defense systems,” Gantz said.
Immediately, however, Mr. Gantz received a counter-comment from Tom Karako, a senior fellow in the Program on International Security and director of the Missile Defense Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He recalled that there are currently two Iron Dome batteries deployed in the US. On the path of logic, Israel doesn’t need to take from its stocks of this air defense system, it is enough to supply the “American” ones.
Newly elected PM
On November 14, Ukraine received an answer. Not the one he wanted, but it’s better than the one he’s been getting so far. There is a new ruling party in Israel headed by Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu. After Mr. Zelensky spoke again with Mr. Netanyahu, the latter “assured him that he would resolve this issue as soon as possible,” Zelensky said. “He will think about where he can help and then come back with an answer,” the Ukrainian leader said in a recent speech.
Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s newly elected prime minister, said he would consider the proposal. It remains to be seen whether, by the end of the year, or early next year, Ukraine won’t end up with a battle-proven weapon that could very well be the game-changer in Ukraine.
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