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Is Israel prepared for all missile threats?

Israel's now-operational David Sling’s medium-range missile defense system, along with the rest of its arsenal, should assist the country in protecting itself against any coordinated attack by Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Iran.
A "David's Sling" launcher system can be seen during a ceremony in which Israel declared its "David's Sling" intermediate-range air defence shield fully operational, at Hatzor air base in southern Israel April 2, 2017. REUTERS/Amir Cohen - RTX33Q6D

On April 2, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) received its first operational Magic Wand mid-range anti-missile system (also known as David's Sling). In the future, this advanced weapons system will also be able to handle cruise missiles. The incorporation of Magic Wand into Israel's missile defenses complements Israel's other anti-missile systems such as the Arrow and Iron Dome. It provides Israel with a perfect, multilayered response to almost all of the ballistic threats posed by the rockets and missiles in its enemies' arsenals. Iron Dome can intercept short-range Qassam and Grad rockets fired at it by Hamas from the Gaza Strip, as well as short-range rockets that Hezbollah might fire. The Arrow anti-missile system (Arrow 1, Arrow 2 and the new Arrow 3 archetype) is designed to intercept long-range ballistic missiles such as Iranian Shahab missiles, which follow a suborbital trajectory outside the atmosphere. Shahab missiles are designed to carry particularly heavy payloads, including nuclear warheads. Magic Wand is the final piece of the puzzle. It is designed to intercept mid-range missiles such as Scuds.

Israel may be the first country in the world with such a multilayered defense system, yet it has already proven its mettle in several operational trials. In 2014, Iron Dome had an impressive record intercepting Hamas rockets fired during Operation Protective Edge, almost completely eliminating the strategic missile threat posed by Hamas to the Israeli Home Front.

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