Israeli News: A Daily Analysis
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A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman

October 9 , 2007 Barak States That Israel Will Have an Effective Missile Defense in Three Years

The Knesset Committee on State Investigations held a hearing today on the State Comptroller's report that the civil defense forces did a poor job during last summer's war.  Both the Minister of Defense Barak and the Prime Minister Olmert were present and testified.  Barak stated that the best defense is not to have better shelters, but to have the means of stopping the missiles from landing in Israel.  He stated that within three years Israel will have systems in place that will be able to stop at least 90% of incoming missiles.  The Chief-of-Staff went on to say that the other best way to stop missiles is rapid offensive actions.  Clearly the IDF is planning a dual strategy in case of any future war, both actively defensive and offensive.
 
Coincidentally, a new Israeli/American missile system was unveiled today at a major arms exhibition in Washington.  The missile, which was developed jointly by the Rafael and Rayathon, is capable of intercepting missiles with a range from 40 Km the 250 Km.  It will be operational in two to three years.
 
Prime Minister Olmert was interrogated for six hours today by the police in relation to the Bank Leumi Affair.  The interrogation was cut short due to Olmert's severe cold and he will be interrogated again on Thursday.  According to reports, he has not denied that he established a series of criteria for the Bank Leumi auction that was good for his friend Frank Lowry.  Olmert claimed that it was also good for other investors.  He also said that competing investors were better friend of his, so he feels he did nothing wrong.
 
Meanwhile, reports are circulating the Winograd Commission will not come up with any personal recommendation- i.e. that Olmert can not longer do his job.  With the exception of Olmert, nearly everyone else has paid the personal price.  It is not clear when the Winograd will issue its report, with some Israeli observers believing that members of the commission might resign instead of issuing a report.