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Israel Approves Defensive Plan, Weighs Military Option Against Iran

Israel Approves Defensive Plan, Weighs Military Option Against Iran

Tuesday, 22 March, 2022 - 09:30
Parts of the wreckage of a drone lie on the ground at the airport in Baghdad, Iraq, January 3, 2022. (International Coalition via AP)

Israeli Minister of Defense Benny Gantz approved a “regional defensive” plan to boost missile and air defenses, in light of the escalating threats from Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah party.

The cabinet allocated a significant budget to develop and produce the “Iron Beam” high-power laser system designed to intercept rockets, mortars, and UAVs, state TV Kan 11 reported on Monday.

The initial investment amounts to hundreds of millions of shekels.

Under the plan, the army will follow the same strategy to intercept missiles launched by Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip.

However, it includes changing the defense outlook in the region to respond to the launch of advanced missiles through regional command and control centers. It will be larger and more comprehensive and in line with the current challenges.

The plan will ensure the maximum readiness of the army, air defense systems and intelligence services to face the challenge of an Iranian escalation in sending drones.

High-level security sources told Haaretz that the army decided to weigh resorting to the military option against Iran.

Two drones launched from Iran last month and intercepted by American fighter jets over Iraq intended to hit targets in Israel, defense officials believe.

Prior to the attack, which occurred on February 14, Israeli security officials were on high alert over fears of an Iranian response to a series of Israeli attacks on Iranian targets in Syria.

Israel expects Iran to increase its provocative acts after signing a new nuclear deal and the removal of the Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from the foreign terrorist organization blacklist.

Iran intends to carry out attacks against Israel from the air, sea and land, Israeli sources told the Walla news website on Monday.

On Friday, Israel appealed to the United States not to delist the IRGC.

“We are very concerned about the US intention to give in to Iran’s outrageous demand and remove the IRGC from the list of terrorist organizations,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said at a cabinet meeting.

“Unfortunately, there is still determination to sign the nuclear deal with Iran at almost any cost – including saying that the world’s largest terrorist organization is not a terrorist organization,” he added. “This is too high a price.”

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