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Nov 26, 2012

Israel’s Barak, architect of Iran policy, quitting politics

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak, a leading strategist in confronting Iran over its nuclear program, said in a surprise announcement on Monday that he would quit political life after the January 22 national election.

Some commentators speculated Barak was trying to duck a trouncing for his tiny centrist party in the ballot, after which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who heads the front-running, right-wing Likud, might return him to defence and military headquarters as a professional appointee.

Nov 26, 2012

Longer-range Israel rocket interceptor seen ready within 3 years

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – A more powerful version of the interceptor system that Israel said downed 90 percent of rockets fired by Gaza militants before a ceasefire last week should be ready for deployment within three years, an aerospace official said on Monday.

He said Israel would need only one or two batteries of the “David’s Sling” system, touted as its answer to the longer-range missiles of Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas and Syria, after word on Sunday that it has passed its first live trial.

Nov 25, 2012

Israel says successfully tests more powerful rocket interceptor

JERUSALEM, Nov 25 (Reuters) – A new Israeli air shield
against rockets more powerful than those intercepted by Iron
Dome in the Gaza conflict passed its first field test last week
after being rushed through development, officials said on
Sunday.

They said that David’s Sling, billed as Israel’s answer to
the longer-range missiles of Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas and
Syria, shot down a target rocket in a secret Nov. 20 desert
trial that coincided with fierce shelling exchanges between
Israel and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

Nov 22, 2012

Iron Dome shootdowns of Gaza rockets cost $25 million-$30 million: Israel

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel’s Iron Dome interceptions of Palestinian rockets during eight days of Gaza fighting cost $25 million to $30 million, the government said on Thursday, arguing the U.S.-backed system was well worth the money.

“Were Iron Dome traded on the (Tel Aviv) stock exchange or Nasdaq, it would have multiplied its share value several times over,” Civil Defense Minister Avi Dichter told Israel Radio in an interview where he outlined the system’s outlay.

Nov 22, 2012

Iron Dome shootdowns of Gaza rockets cost $25mln-$30mln – Israel

JERUSALEM, Nov 22 (Reuters) – Israel’s Iron Dome
interceptions of Palestinian rockets during eight days of Gaza
fighting cost $25 million to $30 million, the government said on
Thursday, arguing the U.S.-backed system was well worth the
money.

“Were Iron Dome traded on the (Tel Aviv) stock exchange or
Nasdaq, it would have multiplied its share value several times
over,” Civil Defence Minister Avi Dichter told Israel Radio in
an interview where he outlined the system’s outlay.

Nov 21, 2012

Gaza shakes, Israelis killed as Clinton seeks truce

GAZA/JERUSALEM, Nov 21 (Reuters) – Israeli air strikes shook
the Gaza Strip and Palestinian rockets struck across the border
as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held talks in
Jerusalem in the early hours of Wednesday, seeking a truce that
can hold back Israel’s ground troops.

Hamas, the Islamist movement controlling Gaza, and Egypt,
whose new, Islamist government is trying to broker a truce, had
floated hopes for a ceasefire by late Tuesday; but by the time
Clinton met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu it was
clear there would be more argument, and more violence, first.

Nov 20, 2012

Clinton meets Netanyahu, seeking Gaza truce

GAZA/JERUSALEM, Nov 20 (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on
Tuesday and pledged to work for a truce in the Gaza Strip “in
the days ahead”.

As the two began late-night talks in Jerusalem, Palestinian
rocket fire and Israeli air strikes continued. Netanyahu said he
would prefer a “long-term” diplomatic solution but repeated his
readiness to step up an offensive against Gaza’s rocket crews.

Nov 20, 2012

Clinton in Jerusalem as Gaza truce still elusive

GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday and pledged to work for a truce in the Gaza Strip “in the days ahead”.

As the two began late-night talks in Jerusalem, Palestinian rocket fire and Israeli air strikes continued. Netanyahu said he would prefer a “long-term” diplomatic solution but repeated his readiness to step up an offensive against Gaza’s rocket crews.

Nov 20, 2012

Clinton vows work on Gaza truce “in days ahead”

JERUSALEM, Nov 20 (Reuters) – The United States signalled on
Tuesday that a Gaza truce could take days to achieve after
Hamas, the Palestinian enclave’s ruling Islamist militants,
backed away from an assurance that it and Israel would stop
exchanging fire within hours.

“In the days ahead the United States will work with our
partners here in Israel and across the region toward an outcome
that bolsters security for the people of Israel, improves
conditions for the people of Gaza and moves toward a
comprehensive peace for all people of the region,” U.S.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in Jerusalem.

Nov 20, 2012

Israeli missile-makers strive to meet Iron Dome demand

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel sees its Iron Dome anti-rocket system as a noted success of its Gaza assault. The only problem is keeping up with demand for the interceptor missiles, their makers said on Tuesday.

“We’ve been working in non-stop shifts,” said an official with Rafael Advanced Defence Systems Ltd, which developed the system. He declined to be named for security reasons.