Defense Minister: Another Iron Dome battery to be stationed in Ashdod

Defense Minister Barak addresses security threats in south after concrete terror warning

Date: 29/08/2011, 4:08 PM     Author: IDF (Zahal) Website

On Monday (August 29), Defense Minister Ehud Barak addressed the security situation in southern Israel, ten days after the terror attacks north of Eilat, during a visit to the ELTA factory of the Israel Aerospace Industries.

“We’re on high-alert in the south today, facing a potential terrorist attack similar to that of ten days ago,” Barak said. “We’re determined to target the terrorists responsible for the attacks and thwart this one. Once again, those responsible are in the Gaza Strip; not only Islamic Jihad, but also Hamas and other forces [in Gaza].”

Barak said that within the next ten days, a third Iron Dome anti-rocket battery will be stationed protecting the city of Ashdod, home to over 200,000 civilians. Two batteries are already deployed in the Ashkelon area (home to over 100,000 residents) and in the Be’er Sheva area (home to over 180,000 residents).

“By the end of the year, we plan on acquiring a fourth battery, as part of the national emergency plan,” Barak said. “There will be nine batteries within less than two years. This will revamp the security of Israel’s residents, who are still in need of shelters. It will also give the political echelon greater freedom to operate with strength [against Israel’s enemies].”

Barak also referred to Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz’s order to bolster forces in southern Israel and at the Israel-Egypt border due to a concrete warning that the Islamic Jihad organization intends to carry out a terrorist attack in the region.

“We understand that the terrorist attack that took place 10 days ago may not have been the last,” Barak said. “We’re preparing with everything at our disposal to recognize, defend and thwart in case anybody attempts such an attack again. I repeat: the terrorists in Gaza will not come out clean.”