Photo: Dudi Vaaknin
אהוד אולמרט ציפי לבני
Photo: Dudi Vaaknin
Defense Minister Amir Peretz
Photo: Ori Porat
Olmert to decide on anti-rocket system, aides say
Prime minister to further deliberate with defense minister, officials before approving rocket intercepting system
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has to approve a decision by Defense Minister Amir Peretz regarding which rocket intercepting system would be purchased, sources in Olmert’s office said Friday.


Olmert and Peretz will meet with other defense officials on Sunday following the weekly cabinet meeting in order to discuss the issue.


Sources in the prime minister’s office said, “The defense minister is allowed to make decisions on behalf of the defense establishment, but an additional deliberation is expected before the system, which will defend Israel from Qassams and Katyushas, is approved.”


The system chosen by the defense minister is dubbed “Iron Dome”, manufactured by RAFAEL Armament Development Authority Ltd.


Peretz's decision, which followed several months of deliberations, is part of Israel's response to the Qassams that are being launched at Israel from the Gaza Strip and to more advanced rockets such as the Katyushas at the northern border.


"Israel requires an additional security layers for the home front that will allow for more political freedom and provide more security for the population," Peretz said.


The “Iron Dome” system is expected to be operational within three years.


Hanan Greenberg contributed to the report


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