“We will continue to support greater integration of Israel in the region,” Joe Biden assured Israel on his arrival in Israel on July 13. The American president called for strengthening relations between the US and Israel, evoking, in particular, a “partnership on the most sophisticated defense systems in the world”. Biden also reiterated “the US commitment to the security of Israel”.
And immediately after he arrived in the country, Biden had the opportunity to see firsthand at the Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv the most advanced air defense systems developed (often with American financial aid) by Israel. These include the ‘Iron Dome’ anti-missile interception system (which, according to the manufacturers, boasts a success rate of 90%), the ‘Arrow’, the ‘David’s Sling’ and the brand new Magen Or (Shield of light), a laser interception system that has passed the experimental phase and which, according to local analysts, should become operational in two to three years.
It is a “revolutionary” system also because – as former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett recently said – it eliminates operating costs: while each single Iron Dome interception costs 70,000 dollars, with ‘Magen Or’, the cost is reduced to one to two dollars for each intervention.
Biden received in-depth explanations from Prime Minister Yair Lapid, Defense Minister Benny Gantz, Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi and Dany Gold, one of the makers of ‘Iron Dome’. “He was very impressed,” Gold said.
“We are determined to improve our defense systems further and strengthen cooperation with the United States,” he added.
According to the media, Biden was also shown the wing of a drone – of Iranian production – launched about ten days ago by Hezbollah from Lebanon towards the Karish platform, connected to a natural gas field in Israeli commercial waters.