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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Israel to hold anti-missile maneuver

Sat, 28 Mar 2009 15:30:58 GMT | PressTV

Israel Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai (R)
Israel is to launch a large-scale maneuver in June to prepare its citizens for possible missile attacks, says the Israeli Defense Ministry.

The maneuver will be held on June 2, when the inhabitants of all Israeli cities will be asked to move to safe locations after hearing the alarm, Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot reported on Saturday.

Israel Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai said the aim of the maneuver was to warn all Israeli citizens that the threat of a missile attack was always present.

"Hezbollah and Syria are capable of targeting any part of Israel. Therefore, we should be prepared for their missile attacks at any time," he said.

Tel Aviv launched a three-week offensive to stop rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip in December. Operation Cast Lead, which left over 1,300 Palestinians dead and thousands of others injured, eventually failed to stop rocket attacks from Gaza.

Israel announced on Friday that it had carried out several 'successful' test launches over an anti-missile system developed to intercept short- and medium-range rockets.

The missile system, named Iron Dome, can destroy rockets with a range of up to 70 kilometers (43 miles), Israel's Channel Ten reported.

Israeli intelligence services will also conduct large-scale maneuvers this week to test their anti-missile system, Yediot Ahronot said.

The report comes as Israeli officials are increasing war rhetoric against Iran, which Tel Aviv accuses of arming Hezbollah and Palestinian groups via Syria.

Israeli army Home Front Command Major General Yair Golan said Sunday that Tel Aviv was preparing for all-out war on multiple fronts that include Iran, Syria and Lebanon.

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