'Iron Dome allotment can't offer full protection'

Former defense minister Amir Peretz warns Israel will need double the number of planned batteries for full protection.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
March 24, 2012 17:13
1 minute read.
Iron Dome fires interceptor rocket south of Ashdod

Iron Dome 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Former defense minister Amir Peretz said on Saturday that the number of Iron Dome rocket-defense batteries Israel plans to purchase is insufficient to protect the country.

While it is reasonable to acquire only 13 batteries, as Israel plans to do, Peretz said, “If we want complete coverage we will need to get to between 20 and 26 batteries.”

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Peretz also warned against using the Iron Dome system to defend military and strategic sites instead of population centers.

“With all due respect, the bases were not meant to be covered by the Iron Dome,” Peretz said. “There’s no way that bases will be preferred over civilians.”

Last year, the US warned Israel that it would have to review funding for the anti-rocket system if it were deployed to protect bases instead of civilians.

Turning to the Iranian nuclear threat, Peretz said that a military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities would be better if an outside actor such as the US carried it out instead of Israel.

“We should prefer an outside actor do it because Israel does not need to be confronted by the whole Muslim world,” Peretz said.

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“We know that a minute after an attack, it will be comfortable for the Western countries to point a blaming finger at Israel. If it’s an American actor, the crisis will be smaller. We need to think about the day after.”

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