A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
January 6, 2010 Anti Missile Defense Successfully Tested, Egypt vs Hamas
Israel made a dramatic step forward towards providing a defense against the missiles that Hezbollah and Hamas have fired at Israel. Over the course of the past 48 hours the Iron Dome system successfully passed a series of tests. This was the first time the complete system was tested repeatedly on real targets and it was successful in downing the incoming missiles. It was also as successful in calculating the trajectory of the incoming missiles, thus it did not have to waste resources on missiles that were going to land in open spaces. The new systems are now being turned over the anti aircraft division of the air force for deployment- the goal is to have the first operational battery deployed in the South. The deployment of the Iron dome system should neutralize both Hezbollah and Hamas’ main weapon against Israel. There is no expectation that the system will be perfect, but even a system that knocks down 90% the missiles that might cause damage could have a dramatic effect in any future confrontation.
Tensions between Egypt and Hamas boiled over today, ostensibly over a convoy of relief trucks that were not allowed to enter Gaza. In fact it was a planned riot by Hamas over the metal fence that is being built underground by the Egyptians along the border. One Egyptian soldier was killed. The fence goes down 20 meters and once it is built it will cut off all the tunnels between Gaza and Egypt. There are now more than 500 tunnels at work, and they are so successful that the cost of gasoline in Gaza 1.25 shekels a liter, a 1⁄4 of the price of gasoline in Israel. Hamas, however, is very concerned that if the tunnels are cut off, not only will they be cut off from smuggling weapons, but the population will also get restive. The Egyptians however seem determined to regain control of their border.