A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
February 25, 2013-Arrow 3 Tested Successfully - Violence on the West Bank
Israel today reached a major milestone in the development of its missile defense system. The Chetz (Arrow) 3 was test fired today for the first time. The new Chetz reached into near space following its planned trajetectory. U.S. Air Force Missile Defense experts attended the test. Today's test was considered a complete success. The Chetz 3, (set to become operational in two years), is designed to intercept Iranian, (or other missiles) in space- before they enter the atmosphere -thereby, exploding whatever unconventional warhead they might carry harmlessly in space.
Israel currently has deployed the Chetz 2, that intercepts an incoming missile in the upper atmosphere. The comprehensive plan is to have a three layer (and possibly a fourth layer) layered defense system in place, in which each level will be designed to intercept any missile that might penetrate an upper level. At least on paper, such a system should provide a formidable deterrent. My view has always been that such a system does not have to be fool proof (of course it's better if it is) for the simple reason that an enemy might be willing to withstand an Israeli counterstrike knowing that they would do grievous damage to us. However if the chances of penetrating our defense systems remains very small, and it is known that any nuclear attack on us would open the "gates of hell" on the perpetrators, should be enough to deter even insane state actors from taking action.
In the meantime, while this was taking place in the air, the IDF was dealing with an ever more restive West Bank. The situation on the ground has become more volatile after the death of a Palestinian who had been arrested last week for throwing stones. Israel claims that he died from a heart attack, but the family claims that the man in his early 30’s was in good health and was tortured. Whatever the truth is, 10,000 people turned up at his funeral outside Hebron and clashes continued all day with the security personnel. It's not clear where this is headed. Israeli observers are divided as to whether or not we are headed for a third intifada.