(AFP) – Mar 16, 2008
JERUSALEM (AFP) — Israel last week test-fired a missile capable of intercepting short-range rockets like those fired by Palestinian militants from the Gaza Strip, Channel 10 television reported Sunday.
"This weapons system will be operational in 2010," said General Dany Gotlib, who is in charge of research at the Israeli defence ministry.
Television showed pictures of the test-firing which it said took place in southern Israel.
In December the Israeli government earmarked more than 200 million dollars (140 million euros) for the development of an advanced defence system dubbed "Iron Dome" aimed at countering rocket fire from Gaza and Lebanon.
Israel's Rafael Advanced Defence Systems arms firm is developing the system which is capable of knocking down rockets with a range from 4-70 kilometres (2.5-43.4 miles), such as the homemade Qassam used by Palestinian militants.
Iron Dome is part of a multi-layered defence system aimed at protecting Israel from short-range missiles and rockets fired by militants in Gaza or Lebanon, and longer-range missiles in the arsenals of regional foes Iran and Syria.
The Israeli army has had little success in ending the nearly daily rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, which has killed 14 people in southern Israel since the start of the second Palestinian uprising in September 2000.
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