Israel's air defenses leave it vulnerable to cruise missiles, the Maariv daily reported on Thursday. The newspaper said that Israel designed its most advanced air defense system, Arrow II, around a doctrine of spotting and shooting down Iranian Shehab or Syrian Scud missiles at high altitudes.
However, the report said, Israel remains unprepared for enemy cruise missiles, which fly at ground-hugging heights to dodge radar and can in theory be used for sneak nuclear strikes.
Israel's Defense Ministry denied the Maariv report. According to Maariv, Israeli experts believe Iran may have used smuggled Ukrainian X-55 cruises missiles as models for their own locally designed cruise missiles.