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July 20, 2022 2:04 pm
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German Lawmakers Push to Procure Israel’s Iron Dome as Defense Shield Against Russian Threat

avatar by Sharon Wrobel

Streaks of light are seen from Ashkelon as Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepts rockets launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israel, May 15, 2021. Photo: REUTERS/Amir Cohen

Germany’s Christian Social Union (CSU) party is calling for the procurement of Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, amid growing speculation over the potential threat of rocket attacks from Russia.

“[Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s brutal rocket fire on Ukraine shows that Germany needs an Israeli-style Iron Dome that offers maximum protection against air strikes as soon as possible,” Alexander Dobrindt, parliamentary leader of Bavaria’s CSU party, told the German daily BILD. “The answer to Putin’s iron curtain must be an Iron Dome with a modern missile defense shield for our country.”

An excerpt from a document prepared for a CSU conference on Wednesday, seen by the outlet, reads: “Germany needs a modern, maximally operational missile defense shield, a German Iron Dome.”

In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Germany announced in February that the government would boost its defense spending. During a diplomatic visit to Israel in March to discuss security issues, the Free Democratic Party’s (FDP) Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, head of the German parliament’s defense committee, said Germany should consider various options for missile defense.

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Since Israel first deployed the Iron Dome missile defense system in 2011, it been a critical element of the country’s active air shield. During last year’s hostilities with the Hamas terror group, the Iron Dome intercepted about 90 percent of the barrage of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip, according to the IDF.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz — whose governing coalition includes the FDP, but not the conservative CSU or its national counterpart, the Christian Democratic Union — indicated in March that the country was mulling the purchase of a missile defense system with a longer range than its existing Patriot batteries.

Other German legislators have reportedly discussed a possible acquisition of Israel’s “Arrow 3,” a joint Israeli-American system that can intercept high and long-range ballistic missiles beyond the earth’s atmosphere.

In April, Germany’s Bundestag approved the purchase of 140 armed drones of the Israeli Heron TP model, amid the increase in military spending following Russia’s Feb 24. invasion of Ukraine.

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