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Arab Monarchies and Illusion of Security by Israeli Iron Dome System

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Arab Monarchies and Illusion of Security by Israeli Iron Dome System

Tuesday 26 January 2021
Arab Monarchies and Illusion of Security by Israeli Iron Dome System

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Alwaght– One of the main points of the Israeli regime’s plot to normalize ties with some of the Persian Gulf Arab monarchies was the disclosure of already-covert military and security cooperation aspects.

Haaretz newspaper reported on Saturday that the US government plans to deploy Israeli-made Iron Dome air defense batteries at its bases in the Persian Gulf and some West Asian and European countries.

Noting that the deployment of the systems is greenlighted by Tel Aviv, the newspaper also wrote that the move is following the normalization of relations between Israelis with the UAE and Bahrain, as well as “two major arms deals between the US and the UAE and Saudi Arabia.”

Securing arms markets under security partnership cover

Since the signing of the normalization deals, the US and the Israel regime have been working to advance with an Israeli-Arab political alliance in the region and expanding it to include economic, military and security spheres in order to ensure the Arab states about the functionality of military and defense coalition with Tel Aviv.

Over the past years, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been major arms purchasers globally, both because of waging an aggression against the Yemeni people, which is now in its seventh year, and also because of regional rivalries with the Iran-headed Axis of Resistance and Turkey which led them to arm terrorist groups fighting central governments in Syria and Iraq. Especially the changing equations of war in Yemen that followed the massive progress of the Yemenis in missile and drones technology and the consequent revelation of the serious vulnerability of the kingdom and the Emirates, formed a mutual willingness between the Israeli and Saudi leaders for a deal on air defense.

On the one hand, Tel Aviv has important security interests in the Yemeni war marked by its strong economic dependence on the Bab al-Mandeb Strait and concerns about the role of Ansarullah resistant movement as an emerging and anti-Israeli force in Yemeni and regional developments. In recent months, Ansarullah also directed its missile threats to the occupied Palestinian territories due to the Tel Aviv’s behind-the-scenes contribution to the unceasing war and crimes against the Yemeni people, as well as the direct presence of Israeli troops in the Yemeni islands assisting the Emirati forces, as the reports say.

With more than 1,000 kilometers in range, Ansarullah missiles are capable of attacking Israeli military and merchant ships anywhere in the Red Sea. Earlier in October 2017, Aziz Rashed, the spokesman for the Yemeni army and popular committees, threatened the Israeli military bases in Eritrea, warning that if the Israeli regime continued to assist the Saudi-Emirati invasion of Yemen, popular forces can strike Israeli military bases in the African state.

Also, while less than 2,200 kilometers separate Yemen from the occupied Palestinian territories, some Yemeni sources have already reported that Ansarullah acquired 2,500-kilometer missiles called “Quds 1.” Thus, one of the aims of Iron Dome system deployment to the Arab allies is to establish security shield near the Yemeni borders to protect the Israeli territories should the Yemeni forces decide to fire missiles.

From another dimension, the Israelis seem to be looking at the lucrative arms market in the Persian Gulf region, where the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar spend huge annual budgets on arms. Abu Dhabi’s annual defense budget is estimated at about $23 billion, $20 billion of which is spent on weapons imported from the US. Additionally, the Saudi Arabian military budget last year exceeded $44 billion. The Israelis, with the US help, are looking forward to cash in on the Arab thirst for weapons.

Jerusalem Post reported on August 17, 2020, that as relations with some Arab countries normalized, sources in the Israeli arms industry spoke of the UAE’s potentials to make up for the losses they faced in recent years.

Imaginary Iron dome protection

But regardless of the Israeli-American goals behind the deployment of batteries, an important question in about the transfer or purchase of the Iron Dome interceptors to Persian Gulf Arab monarchies: Is this system capable of providing the security umbrella anticipated by the Saudi, Emirati and Bahraini rulers?

The answer to this question has two dimensions.

Iron Dome performance record

In September 2019, Ansarullah’s missile and drone strike on Saudi oil facilities, which halted half of the country’s oil production, generated a big nightmare for Saudi Arabia. Since then, the Saudis have resorted to any means to eliminate their inability to address the Yemeni movement’s missile and drone strikes, only to find themselves in total failure. Ansarullah has repeatedly been able to successfully target their military and economic centers in all parts of the country. At the time, reports emerged talking about the Saudi attempts to buy Iron Dome systems from the Israeli regime. Al-Khalieej Online news website, citing sources familiar with the effort, reported in mid-September 2018 that Riyadh purchased the missile interception system from Tel Aviv.

The important thing now is that this system has already proven to be a failure story when it comes to countering the missiles of the resistance groups in Palestine. In 2019, the Israeli forces launched an offensive against Gaza Strip. But after three days, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced his agreement to a ceasefire. During the three days of war, Hamas and Islamic Jihad fired 700 missiles at the Israeli territories. Reports by Israeli media said that 117 of these missiles were fired in just one hour, practically paralyzing the much-vaunted anti-missile system. The Israelis themselves admitted that this very expensive and purportedly advanced system could not intercept most of the missiles.

The Israeli Maariv newspaper wrote in a report at the time that the Israeli army was thinking of developing a laser system to cover the weakness shown by Iron Dome, something signaling the official admission by the Israeli regime that by reliance on the Iron Dome it cannot eliminate its vulnerability to the Resistance front’s missiles.

Aljazeera quoted sources in the Palestinian resistance as saying that during the three-day war the resistance’s missiles struck the Hatzerim airbase and the Nivatim military base near Be’er Sheva city in southern Israeli regime. In addition, Ashdod city was targeted, with some military bases and infrastructure incurring damage. While the Israeli officials admitted death of only four Israelis in the resistance attacks, resistant groups insisted that the casualties were much higher and that the Israelis were hiding the real figures.

Arab leaders buying security threats

Apparent enough, Tel Aviv is seeking ways behind the normalization with Arab governments to threaten Tehran’s security interests in the Persian Gulf and build presence near the Iranian borders. After the thaw was given publicity, Tehran repeatedly warned the Arab countries about the consequences of teaming up with the anti-Iranian ambitions of the Israelis. Washington and Tel Aviv have always sought their sowing divisions, disputes, and enmities among regional countries.

Therefore, it can be said that increasing military, security, and intelligence partnership with the Israeli regime not only will not help improve the security of these countries but also increase their security risks by distancing them from pro-dialogue approach to solve the differences with Tehran.

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