Foreign sources claim the Israeli military test-fired a new long-range ballistic missile reportedly capable of carrying a nuclear, chemical or biological warhead.
The military described Friday’s launch from a base on the Mediterranean coast as the test of the propulsion system of a missile on which it declined to elaborate.
- Op-ed: Obama's North Korean card
- Photos suggest Saudis targeting Israel with missiles
- US delays missile test as tensions rise
"This morning, Israel conducted a launching test from the Palmachim base of a rocket propulsion system," the Israeli ministry for military affairs said in a brief statement.
"The scheduled test was pre-planned… and was carried out as expected," it added.
Missile launched from Palmachim (Video: David Golan)
Israeli media, citing analysts, said the test was very likely related to Israel's Jericho ballistic missile system.
Analysts say the most modern version of the system, the Jericho III, has a range of between 5,000 and 11,000 kilometers, and can carry a warhead of up to one ton.
The last test of a Jericho III missile was conducted in November 2011. Three years earlier, foreign sources said the military launched a Jericho missile from Palmachim. Israeli security officials described the launch test as "dramatic," saying it was part of the effort to upgrade the country's missile capabilities.
Israel, along with the United States and much of the West, suspects Iran is seeking a nuclear weapon, allegations Tehran strongly denies.
The Jewish state, the Middle East's sole, albeit undeclared, nuclear power, believes Iran must be prevented from reaching military nuclear capabilities at any cost and refuses to rule out military intervention to achieve that goal.
- Receive Ynetnews updates
directly to your desktop