Saudi Arabia is mulling buying a missile system owned and operated by the Israeli regime, a new report suggests, amid increasing hints of the normalization of relations between the kingdom and Israel.
Basler Zeitung, a Swiss paper, reported this week that military experts from Saudi Arabia had examined Iron Dome during a military weapons show in the United Arab Emirates and that a potential purchase might be possible in future.
This as there is a low expert opinion in general of the missile system. In 2014, Theodore A. Postol, a professor of science, technology, and national security policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), studied a variety of publicly available data on the missile system, arguing that the Iron Dome’s intercept rate, defined as destruction of a rocket’s warhead, was “perhaps as low as five percent but could well be lower.”
The Swiss daily report said experts were examining other Israeli-made weapons for such purchases, including Trophy Active Protection System, which is installed on tanks to detect and neutralize rockets and other projectiles.
Saudi Arabia is in the third year of its devastating campaign against its southern neighbor Yemen. More than 14,000 people have been martyred in relentless bombardment of residential areas across Yemen since the campaign started in March 2015.
The Saudis have bought billions of dollars’ worth of weapons and military equipment over the past years, many of them being used in the war on Yemen. Riyadh has also boosted its defenses against retaliatory missile attacks by Yemen’s Ansarullah movement, which mostly targets military positions south of the kingdom and other key areas.
The military and intelligence cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Israel has increased over the past years although the government in Riyadh has no diplomatic relations with the regime in Tel Aviv and designates Israeli regime as the occupier of the Palestinian territories.
Many have condemned Saudi Arabia’s flirtation with Israel, saying it would undermine efforts to isolate the regime of Israel in the region and the world while it affects the Palestinian cause in general. They say Riyadh has gone too far in its cooperation with the Israelis as a way of deterring Iran as a regional rival.