Friday, 19 September 2014
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The misery of Palestinian unity

Contrary to some optimistic expectations about positive internal political changes stemming from the recent Israeli war on Gaza, intra-Palestinian division continues to define and fragment the Palestinian political spectrum.

Israel tortures Gazans, targets Palestinian rights defenders

As part of its systematic detention policy against Palestinians since June, Israel is also torturing...

Expulsion order for PLC member Khalida Jarrar expires

Victory - the Israeli military deportation order expelling PLC member Khalida Jarrar from Ramallah t...

32 Palestinians arrested overnight, including 13 children

32 Palestinians were arrested overnight in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, of whom 13 are children...

48 new housing units in northern West Bank settlement

A new neighbourhood in the northern West Bank settlement of Har Bracha was inaugurated last Thursday...
aicafe-16-september
Please join us at the AICafe on Tuesday 16 September from 7.30 p.m. for Sabra and Shatila with Basem Sbaih.
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Urgent, act now! Tell UEFA to exclude Israel from the bidding to host matches for the UEFA European Football Championship 2020. Hosting decisions will be...

Jerusalem

32 Palestinians arrested overnight, including 13 children...

32 Palestinians were arrested overnight in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, of whom 13 are children.

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32 Palestinians arrested overnight, including 13 children

Hebron

PHOTOS: Protest halts Israeli archaeological dig in Hebron...

Activists succeeded in temporarily halting Israel's archeological dig in Hebron's Tel Rumeida. As in other occupied Palestinian territory, such as Eas...

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PHOTOS: Protest halts Israeli archaeological dig in Hebron

Opinions

Live now as we think humans should live...

People ask me about politics and claim it is too complex. I say it is simple and predictable.

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Live now as we think humans should live

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Gaza attacks as ad for sale of military equipment

Created on 18 November 2012
Iron Dome system/Photo: Natan Flayer

Israel’s latest round of military attacks on the Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip fulfill several Israeli goals, one of them perhaps being increased international sales of the “Iron Dome” air defence system which Israel is deploying to intercept and destroy short-range rockets shot from Gaza. 

The Iron Dome anti-rocket system is designed to counter short-range rockets and 155 mm artillery shells with a range of up to 70 kilometers. The system has three central components: a detection and tracking radar built by Elta, a battle management and weapon control (BMC) built by mPrest Systems, an Israeli software company, and a missile firing unit, that launches the Tamir interceptor missile, equipped with electro-optic sensors and several steering fins for high maneuverability. The missile is built by Rafael.

The system's radar detects a rocket launch and tracks its trajectory. Then, the BMC calculates the expected hit point according to the reported data, and uses this information to determine whether the target constitutes a threat to a designated area; only in this case an interceptor missile is fired to detonate the rocket before it reaches the expected impact area. The system is designed to only intercept rockets identified as heading for designated targets.

In July of this year and only one day before the visit of then-presidential candidate Mitt Romney to Jerusalem, President Obama signed legislation that gives Israel $70 million for its "Iron Dome" rocket defense system. "I have made it a top priority for my administration to deepen cooperation with Israel across the whole spectrum of security issues -- intelligence, military, technology," said Obama before signing the bill in the Oval Office.

In addition Obama secured an additional $205 million in the last fiscal year to help produce the Iron Dome, and intends to request additional funding for the Israeli system on top of the $70 million provided this year.

The development of the Iron Dome system was financed partially by the United States, which granted an initial US$205 million toward its development. On 9 May 2011, Haaretz reported that Defense Ministry Director General Maj. Gen. (res.) Udi Shani said that Israel plans to invest nearly USid="mce_marker" billion in the coming years for the development and production of Iron Dome batteries.

"We are defining the final target for absorbing the systems, in terms of schedule and funds. We are talking about [having] 10-15 Iron Dome batteries. We will invest nearly USid="mce_marker" billion on this. This is the goal," Shani said.

Three Israeli companies are involved in the development of the new system. One is Elta Systems, Ltd., a subsidiary group of Israel Aerospace Industries. Elta is one of Israel's major defense electronics companies specialising in a variety of fields. The company was established in 1967 and its 2006 sales reached US$805 million, of which 90% were exported to armed forces worldwide and 10% were sold domestically.

For development of the Iron Dome Elta partnered with Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., an Israeli company founded in 1948 as Israel’s National R&D Defense Laboratory for the development of weapons and military technology within the Ministry of Defense. The Iron Dome was developed as a final product by Rafael.