Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system on Jan. 15 successfully shot down several rockets fired by terrorists in Gaza at the Israeli city of Ashkelon, The Times of Israel reported. On Jan. 13, two rockets were also launched at the Negev from Gaza following the funeral of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. No damage or injuries were reported following either attack.
The U.S. and Israeli militaries successfully tested the Arrow-3 interceptor missile on Jan. 3, Defense News reported. This was the second trial for Arrow-3, which provides another layer of defense against potential incoming long-range missiles. “The successful test is a major milestone in the development of the Arrow-3 Weapon System and provides confidence in future Israeli capabilities to defeat the developing ballistic missile threat,” the U.S. Missile Defense Agency said in a statement.
The Israel Defense Forces will upgrade to more advanced American-made cell phones, Ha’aretz reported. Motorola will be providing smartphones that provide added security and increased durability for field usage. The ministry reported that $50 million of the contract would be spent in the United States using U.S. foreign aid.
Israel named an Arrow missile defense site after the late Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI), one of Israel’s leading defenders in Congress, reported KITV, Honolulu’s ABC affiliate. This marked the first time Israel dedicated a military facility in honor of a non-Israeli. At the naming ceremony, Inouye’s wife also announced the start of an annual scholarship to the Israel Arts and Science Academy in Jerusalem in memory of her husband.
Vice President Joe Biden led the U.S. delegation to former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s funeral, The Globe and Mail reported. In the wake of Sharon’s passing, high-ranking American officials offered tributes and expressed their condolences. President Obama also used the occasion to reaffirm America’s “unshakable commitment to Israel’s security.”