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03:34 PM, April 3, 2017
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David’s Sling air defense system

Israel’s two David’s Sling air defense batteries have been operationalized at Hatzor Air Base, marking the completion of its multi-tiered anti-missile array covering the entire national territory.

A joint US-Israel missile interceptor David's Sling, which was designed to fill the gap between the longer-range Arrow missile defence system and the shorter-range Iron Dome interceptor.

The medium-range interceptor, which became active Sunday, is meant to counter medium-range missiles. David's Sling was developed by Israeli defence firm, Rafael, with American defence giant, Raytheon, various local media reported today.

Israel has mentioned several aerial threats. One among them is Lebanon's Hezbollah, with which it fought a devastating 2006 war. The Israeli military believes Hezbollah today has between 100,000 and 120,000 short- and medium-range missiles and rockets, as well as several hundred long-range missiles, with the medium-range missiles capable of reaching Tel Aviv.

An annual intelligence assessment found that both Hezbollah and Hamas are probably not keen in sparking a war in 2017, but it warned of the danger of a dynamic of escalation leading to conflict.

In February, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said "Hezbollah was not seeking a resumption of hostilities". But if war did begin, his forces would strike Israel's Dimona nuclear facilities, he confirmed.

Now a conflict with Hamas would “be more challenging” than previous ones in the wake of highly explosive, short-range rockets reportedly acquired by the terrorist group, the head of the Israeli Air Force’s Aerial Defense Command, Brig. Gen. Tzvika Haimovitch was quoted as saying by The Times of Israel Sunday.

The David’s Sling would not protect Israel against this new variety of projectile and even the IDF’s Iron Dome short-range interceptor system would also struggle against these rockets, he warned.

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