A Knesset ministerial committee has permitted Defense Minister Ehud Barak to
sign an agreement with the Israel Military Industries Ltd. for the production of additional Iron Dome missile defense system batteries
The Ministry of Defense's Director-General Ehud Shani will sign on the agreements with the IMA at a scope of NIS 750 million (approximately $190 million), part of which will be subsidized by the security budget and partly from US military aid.
The new procurement budget was determined prior to the current operation and is based on additions to the security budget and US aid; at a scope of $675 million. The budget was promised to the government of Israel
in the framework of talks conducted between Barak and his American counterpart, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta
In the past five years, the Iron Dome system has procured development and equipment costs of NIS 2.2 billion (approximately $500 million) of which the United States subsidized $205 million. In addition, $70 million of the $675 million promised by the US defense secretary have already been utilized.
The IMI has transferred five Iron Dome batteries to the Israel Defense Forces, thus far. Four of them are installed in the south of Israel and one in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area.
Since midnight on Tuesday, 80 rockets have been fired on Israel
and according to reports, the cabinet has opted for a ceasefire and an agreement is likely to be signed within a few hours.
A few of the rockets not intercepted by the Iron Dome system on Tuesday have caused great damage. On Tuesday afternoon, a rocket directly hit a factory in the Sdot Negev Regional Council and another fell on a building in a community in the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council.
On Monday, the sixth day of Operation Pillar of Defense, there were 135 rocket launches and 67 missile landings in Israeli territory. Since the onset of the operation, there have been 664 missile landings in Israel.
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