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Eilat: Civilian Planes to Receive Anti-Missile Systems

Israeli planes taking off from Eilat will be armed with anti-missile systems due to anti-aircraft threat.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 4/18/2013, 9:39 PM

Israeli planes taking off from Eilat will be armed with anti-missile systems due to the threat of shoulder-carried anti-aircraft missiles that could be fired from the Sinai desert, Channel 2 reported Thursday.

The security establishment is aware that terrorists in Sinai have armed themselves with man-portable air-defense systems, or MANPADS. The initial thought was to intermittently close down the Eilat airport, but the decision eventually reached was to arm planes taking off from the airport with anti-missile systems.

The Ministry of Transport, Shin Bet and Counter-Terror Bureau held a discussion in which they decided to arm the planes with the C-MUSIC Magen Rakia system, manufactured by Elbit. The system will be used on both domestic flights and international ones.

A Salafist group, the Mujahedeen Shura Council, claimed responsibility for firing Grad missiles at Eilat Wednesday. The anti-missile system, Iron Dome, which has been placed near Eilat for precisely such moments, did not fire down the missiles for reasons that are not known.