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Surrounded By Hostile Missiles

Washington, (UPI) July 26, 2005
Arab countries surrounding Israel have some 1,000 missiles that can fire a total of some 500 tons of explosives at any spot in the country, the former head of the Israeli Defense Ministry department responsible for ballistic missile defense warned Tuesday.

"This is a missile threat equivalent to a simultaneous attack of some 120 fighter jets," Uzi Rubin told a tense meeting of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament. He was one of several missile experts who testified before the committee on the missile threat in the Middle East and its influence on Israeli security, the Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz said.

If Israel did not present a credible response, the missile threat would endanger the security of its citizens, limit its military and political freedom of action, constitute a serious obstacle to any political agreement and endanger the stability of any agreement that is reached," Rubin said according to the report.

Syria has the largest military force in the region, including 400-500 missiles, Rubin said. Syria has SS-21 missiles with a range of 70 miles, Scud-Bs with a 180-mile range, Scud-Cs with a 300-mile range and Scud-Ds with a 420-mile range, Rubin said.

Currently, Israeli military experts are most concerned about the possibility that Iran will develop or acquire nuclear weapons for its intermediate-range missiles capable of obliterating Israel's main population centers. Some 70 percent of Israel's population and 80 percent of its infrastructure is concentrated on its tiny coastal plain. One senior Israeli defense expert described the concentration to UPI as "an invitation for annihilation."

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US Prepares For New Round Of Civil Aviation Missile Defense Tests
Washington, (UPI) July 26, 2005
The U.S. government will begin testing anti-missile laser defense equipment on three airliners next month as Washington beefs up aviation security, USA Today newspaper has reported.

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