Council heads in southern Israel are divided as to whether the Iron Dome system is worthy of an Israel Defense Prize. "An endorsement would be to betray the residents' trust," Eshkol Regional Council head Haim Yalin told Ynet on Wednesday. His counterpart in the Shaar Hanegev Regional Council, however claimed that the anti-missile system was "an exceptional project."
The council heads received a letter by Refael CEO Yedidya Ya'ari asking them to recommend that the developers of the system receive the Israel Defense Prize. "The system has proven in the short timetable since it became operational its capabolities in a large number of interceptions conducted with high success rates," the letter stated.
"The short time in which the system was developed is record breaking in the history of the development of missile systems of this scale in Israel and the world."
Iron Dome in Ashdod (Photo: Avi Rokach)
Eshkol Council head Yalin refused the request explaining that the system provides solutions for large cities in the south and not for residents of the Gaza vicinity communities. "Endorsing an award for a system which fails to help the residents which I represent means betraying their trust, my public duty and moral obligation to do everything in my power to protect the council's residents," Yalin explained.
Shaar Hanegev's Alon Schuster, however was quite keen to write a letter of recommendation. "This is an exceptional project and I cherish the strenuous work of those people who developed the system. If there are not enough Iron Dome batteries, and I accept the IDF's deployment logic, then the residents' houses must be fortified at the very least, and this is not being done," he said.
Ashdod Mayor Yehiel Lasri and Beersheba Mayor Rubik Danilovitch also agreed to recommend the system's developers. "Refael is a realization of the Zionist vision, a combination between a creative mind, faith and the triumph of the spirit. They are worthy of an Israel Defense Price both on the security level and for daring and having imagination which are reflected in this groundbreaking technological development," Danilovitch said.
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