Obama praises Iron Dome soldiers

US has earmarked hundreds of millions on Israeli air defense programs; PM describes Iron Dome as "a revolution."

By REUTERS
March 20, 2013 15:19
1 minute read.
US President Barack Obama lands in Israel

obama visit 390. (photo credit: Moshe Milner/GPO)

 
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US President Barack Obama met with soldiers from the air force’s Iron Dome rocketdefense system at Ben-Gurion Airport on Wednesday, and told them they are “doing an amazing job.”

Israel Air Force chief Maj.- Gen. Amir Eshel provided Obama with a tour of an Iron Dome battery and the Arrow 3 anti-ballistic system.

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Obama heard how Iron Dome guarded Israeli civilians during last November’s aerial conflict with Hamas.

Obama was joined by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who described the air defense systems as “a revolution.”

The United States should be allowed to co-produce Israel’s Iron Dome rocket interceptor so it can benefit from the money it has poured into the system, a IDF officer said on Wednesday.

The US has earmarked hundreds of millions of dollars for Israeli air defense programs.

Brig.-Gen. Shachar Shohat, head of the IAF’s Air Defense Command, told Reuters it was important for Israel to show its appreciation to Obama, adding that such a venture would allow the Americans to gain from their assistance.



Shochat briefed Obama at Ben-Gurion Airport together with Eshel.

“To me, it is clear that the American partner also has to look out for the American economy,” Eshel said.

Some experts have suggested the United States might eventually want to use systems such as Iron Dome to protect zones in combat situations such as Afghanistan.

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