JERUSALEM 

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Tuesday that the nation’s army will deploy a laser air defense system to intercept drones, missiles and UAVs within one year. 

Bennett made the announcement in an address at the annual international conference of the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), according to the official Israeli KAN news channel.

He said the new system will be deployed first in the south to tackle rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip and the technology will be offered to Israel’s friends in the region against what he said are threats from Iran and its proxies.

The Israeli Defense Ministry said in January 2020 that it developed a laser interception system against rockets after decades of failed attempts.

Israel, currently, possesses a variety of short, medium- and long-range air defense systems, including the Iron Dome, designed to shoot down short-range rockets and drones; the Arrow system, which intercepts ballistic missiles outside of the Earth’s atmosphere and the David’s Sling missile defense system that is designed to intercept tactical ballistic missiles.

*Writing by Ahmed Asmar

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