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Israel 'open' to missile defence collaboration with Gulf states

Israel has sold Iron Dome air defence batteries to the US [Getty]

Date of publication: 16 December, 2020

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A top Israeli defence official said the country would be open to sharing missile defence technology with Gulf Arab states in order to combat Iran.
Israel could be open to cooperating with Gulf states on missile defence and help act as a regional bulwark against Iran, a top defence official said on Tuesday.

"Things can be done, maybe in the future," said Moshe Patel, chief of the Israeli Missile Defence Organisation, when asked whether any Israeli systems would be offered to the country's new allies in the Gulf.

Both the UAE and Bahrain agreed to normalise ties with Israel earlier this year. 

"From an engineering point of view, of course there is a lot of advantage. That information can be shared, like sensors that can be deployed in both countries because we have the same enemies," Patel was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Shared enmity with Iran was a big motivator behind the US-brokered normalisation deals between Israel and the Gulf Arab states.

Patel had called a press conference to announce what he said was the successful testing of Israel's multi-tiered air defence system. The system is capable of hitting targets flying at different altitudes, allowing for any targets initially missed to be re-engaged.

The lowest tier of the system is Israel's infamous Iron Dome short-range rocket interceptor, active since 2011. It also includes the David's Sling mid-range interceptor and the Arrow system, which can shoot down ballistic missiles.

Israel has supplied the United States with one Iron Dome battery, with another one on order. India, Romania and Azerbaijan have also reached deals to acquire Iron Dome batteries.

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