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Saudi Arabia buys ‘Iron Dome’ from Israel


Saudi Arabia buys ‘Iron Dome’ from Israel

David Israel

Saudi Arabia has purchased an Iron Dome battery from Israel, al-Khaleej Online reported Thursday. According to the report, Saudi Arabia has shown an interest recently in purchasing the mobile, all-weather air defense system, and the acquisition was carried out through American mediation at secret meetings in Washington.

Al-Khaleej Online cited a diplomatic source wishing to remain anonymous, who said that Israel initially rejected the possibility of selling the system to an Arab state, but after pressure from Washington, Israel was convinced and the deal was carried out.

In 2012, the US Senate Armed Services Committee included $210 million for Iron Dome.

The transaction’s value is estimated at tens of millions of dollars, and the parties signed a commitment that the system would not pose a danger to Israel and its allies in the near or distant future.

“If Iron Dome succeeds in intercepting rockets that pose a threat to the Kingdom, there will be talks to acquire additional military systems and opening the way for military trade between the two countries,” the report says.

According to Monthly Missile Defense, while the typical air defense missile battery consists of a radar unit, missile control unit, and several launchers, all located at the same site, Iron Dome is built to deploy in a scattered pattern. Each launcher, containing 20 interceptors, is independently deployed and operated remotely via a secure wireless connection. Each iron dome battery is capable of protecting an urban area of approximately 60 square miles.

The surface area of Manhattan is approximately 23 square miles.

Al-Khaleej Online mentions IDF Chief of Staff, Lieut. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot’s interview with a Saudi newspaper in which the Eizenkot said Israel was open to exchanging intelligence information with the moderate Arab countries that share common interests with her, including, especially, on the Iranian threat. The interview is cited as evidence of the strength of diplomatic and military relations between Tel Aviv and Riyadh.

The report quotes an Israeli official who said, after a meeting in London with two senior Saudi officials, that they had told him that Israel and Saudi Arabia were no longer enemies.

Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, which makes the Iron Dome, has not said there was a sale.

The Israeli Ministry of Defense firmly denies the Al-Khaleej report.

Blitz input: Being the fourth largest Muslim nation, Bangladesh, as part of its solidarity towards Falestinians aka Palestinians [there is no existence of the word ‘Palestine’ in Arabic vocabulary. This is a Hebrew word, meaning invaders. Palestinians originally migrated from Jordan] and Iran, officially considers Israel as an ‘enemy state’. Bangladeshis are barred from visiting Israel. This has stopped Bangladesh from availing extremely sophisticated defence equipments as well as technological cooperation with the Jewish State.

Blitz editor and internationally acclaimed award willing anti militancy journalist Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury was charged with sedition, treason and blasphemy in 2003 as he was arrested from the Dhaka International Airport on his way to Israel [on November 29, 2003]. Mr. Choudhury was brutally tortured in police remand for consecutive 10 days while his knee cap was broken with field hockey stick by the interrogators. The then Islamist coalition government of Bangladesh Nationalist Party kept him in isolated prison alongside hardened criminals.

In 2005 [April], at the intervention of US Congressman Mark Steven Kirk [Republican Party, Mount Prospect, Illinois], Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury was released on bail. The government did not allow Mr. Choudhury to attend his mother’s janaja [funeral] when she died on August 9, 2004 and refused medical treatment to this veteran journalist. Mr. Choudhury suffers from serious ophthalmic complications.

In 2007, the United States Congress passed a bi-partisan resolution [Hr-64] by 209 votes. Congressman Ron Paul from the Republican Party [who is known as a mad chap] voted against the resolution. Congressman Mark Steven Kirk [Republican] and Congressman Nita Lowey [Democrat] sponsored this resolution. Similar resolutions were passed by the European Union Parliament and the Australian Senate. Bangladesh government completely ignored these resolutions.

In 2014 [January 9], Mr. Choudhury was convicted in treason and blasphemy charges by a Dhaka court with 9 year’s rigorous imprisonment. At the instruction of Inspector General of Prison, Syed Iftekhar Ahmed, Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury was placed in a Condemned Cell alongside condemned convicts. It is illegal keeping a non-condemned convict in the condemned prison. But, the government denied this rule and tried to punish Mr. Choudhury in a worst form for the ‘crimes’ of confronting radical Islam and militancy; denouncing antisemitism and Holocaust denial; for advocating interfaith harmony; and for defending the State of Israel.

On July 29, 2018, Mr. Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury was released from prison on completion of his imprisonment period. Bangladeshi intelligence had confiscated his passport thus barring him from leaving the country.

Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury is the Honorary Member of Pen America. He is recipient of ‘Freedom to Write’ award from Pen USA [in 2005]; most prestigious ‘Moral Courage Award’ from American Jewish Committee [in 2006]; Key to Englewood [NJ] city [highest honor] from Mayor Michael Wildes; ‘Certificate of Recognition’ from the Mayor of Teaneck [NJ]; and ‘Monaco Media Award’ in 2007 from Prince Albert the second.

Blitz editor is author of many books on counter-militancy and considered as one of the experts in counterterrorism.

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