President Obama Tours Iron Dome President Obama Tours Iron Dome President Obama Tours Iron Dome President Obama Tours Iron Dome President Obama Tours Iron Dome President of the United States, Barack Obama, has descended from the stairs of the presidential Air Force 1 to his historical visit in Israel. He began his visit at an “Iron Dome” battery, the rocket interception system funded with extensive U.S assistance

Michal Weissbrod

The historical visit of Barack Obama, the fifth U.S president to arrive in Israel, began today with the landing of the presidential Air Force 1 plane at Ben-Gurion International Airport. Israeli President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the ministers of the recently assembled government welcomed Obama as he stepped off the plane. An honor guard conducted in honor of the president included the marching of IAF pilot cadets, who are on their way to becoming the future of the IAF.

Meeting Fighters of “Iron Dome”

Promptly after landing, President Obama was led on a tour of an “Iron Dome” battery placed in the area in honor of the visit. He observed the life-saving system, of which’s funding the United States took a significant part, from up close and received explanations from accompanying officials. This past summer, President Obama had signed a law for the expansion of security cooperation between the U.S and Israel, and announced the allotment of tens of millions of dollars to the “Iron Dome” project. “The signing of this law demonstrates America’s unshakable commitment to the security of Israel”, said the President at the time. “This system is critical to the protection of families in Israel”/

Today, together with the Minister of Defense, Head of the Administration for Research, the Chief of General Staff, IAF Commander and Commander of the Aerial Defense Formation, he toured an “Iron Dome” battery and watched a presentation of the “Arrow” and “David’s Sling” missile systems. He listened to explanations of the Chief of General Staff, Lieutenant General Benny Gantz, and met fighters of “Iron Dome” from all around the country. “You’re doing a great job”, he said to the excitement of the soldiers shaking his hand.

After the visit to the “Iron Dome” battery, Obama proceeds to visits with President Peres and Prime Minister Netanyahu. Later this afternoon, he is expected to meet with the Prime Minister and conduct a joint press conference. Tomorrow, he will tour the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, the Hall of Books and a technological exhibition, after which he will visit Ramallah. Later that day, President Obama will give a speech in Jerusalem and will arrive at a ceremonious dinner in the president’s residence. On Friday, he will place flowers on the graves of Binyamin Ze’ev Hertzel and Yitzhak Rabin, and will pay a visit to the Yad VaShem Holocaust Memorial Museum. Finally, after a visit to Bethlehem, he will return to Ben-Gurion Airport–where he will seal the visit in a ceremony and board the Air Force 1 on his way back to the United States.