Defense minister examines results of successful Iron Dome test, clarifies anti-rocket system does not provide complete protection. He warns Palestinian organizations not to 'shed tears if we are forced to act'
Attila Somfalvi Published: 01.11.10, 10:24 / Israel News
Celebrating success and conveying threatening message: Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Monday recommended to the Hamas organization "to consider its move carefully and prevent rocket fire on Israel, rather than shed tears in case we are forced to act."
Barak spoke while observing the results of last week's successful test in the Iron Dome anti-rocket defense system.
"This is an example and sign of development during a state emergency, with results which go beyond expectations," the defense minister said. "An inability to intercept rockets could force Israel to enter a fighting which would not be required with such a system."
He clarified, however, that "there will be ups and downs. This does not provide complete defense."
"I think the recent days reflect the inability of Hamas to control the dissident groups, the Popular Committees or Islamic Jihad, who are trying to break the tranquility," Barak told Reuters.
"Hamas is well deterred from trying another direct collision with Israel. I hope that they will take over - or else," he said in English, referring to the Islamist movement imposing its authority over smaller armed groups.
Barak noted that the credit for the achievements in developing the system goes to the Jewish mind. He thanked his predecessor, who moved the development process forward. "I thank Amir Peretz and the people who led the project. I know how hard it is to make such a decision, especially when there are people who believe it isn't the right thing to do."
The defense minister also addressed the decision to construct a fence on the Israel- Egypt border. "We need a fence, and we need two states for two people. Along the other borders, good fence make good neighbors."
The defense establishment said last week that the Iron Dome anti-rocket system had successfully passed a number of comprehensive tests during the past few days.
As a result of the system's successful performance, officials decided to deploy the system during the second half of the year.
Personnel from the arms development department of the Defense Ministry and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. carried out an additional series of tests in the south, where the system had to cope, for the first time, with a number of rockets fired at the same time, including Katyusha and Qassam rockets, as well as 120 mm mortars.
All rockets fired as part of the test were intercepted successfully by the new system.
With the completion of the tests, the development stage of the system is over. According to the timetable, the system will soon be handed over to a special anti-aircraft brigade in the Air Force.
Iron Dome is designed to protect Israel from short range rockets and was developed as part of a multi-layer defense system that includes "Magic Wand" for intermediate range missiles and "Arrow" for long range missiles.
Reuters contributed to this report
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