חאן בארות בלב מכתש רמון
Ramon crater
Photo: Yaniv Cohen, Nature and Park Authority
Ramon Crater visitor center

Israel's Ramon Crater to close to public over defense system's testing

IDF Southern Command approves request for testing to be conducted for four days by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems; calls visitors and residents to keep away from site

Yoav Zitun |
Published: 09.18.22, 14:06
The Ramon Crater geological site in southern Israel will be closed off for public over four days over defense system testing, the military said Sunday.
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  • According to the IDF, the crater will be closed off beginning Monday due to a trial test carried out by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.
    2 View gallery
    מרכז המבקרים מכתש רמון
    מרכז המבקרים מכתש רמון
    Ramon Crater visitor center
    (Photo: Doron Nissim)
    The main road around the crater will be closed for civilian traffic, and the crater itself will be off limits to visitors as of 2pm Sunday, as will the areas east of Highway 40, leading to the Arava desert.
    The testing is planned to begin inside the Ramon Crater and requires the area to be closed off to civilians, with the approval of the chief of the IDF Southern Command Maj. Gen. Eliezer Toledano.
    In a statement, the military appealed to visitors to adhere to instructions and avoid the military and defense facilities.
    Rafael operates a testing ground south-west of the crater which is off limits to civilians on weekdays, and only allows visitors on weekends and holidays. The Defense Ministry instructions, however, are broader than the regular restrictions that have been in place for years.
    2 View gallery
    חאן בארות בלב מכתש רמון
    חאן בארות בלב מכתש רמון
    Ramon crater
    (Photo: Yaniv Cohen, Nature and Park Authority)
    Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. is an Israeli defense technology company, developing and producing weapons and defense technologies for the IDF as well as for export abroad. The company was initially a part of the Defense Ministry, but became an independent limited company in 2002.
    Among its products are the Iron Dome missile defense system.
    The crater is a geological feature located in southern Israel. The landform is the world's largest "erosion cirque" and is shaped like an elongated heart. Despite of the crater’s name an appearance, it is not an impact crater formed due to a meteor crash, nor a volcanic crater formed following a volcanic eruption.

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