Defense Minister Ehud Barak was on hand Monday morning during a live test firing of a Patriot missile from central Israel.

The test firing was conducted as part of Austere Challenge 12, the IDF's joint exercise with the U.S. Army.

Barak said that the test firing is an expression of the cooperation between Israel and the U.S. and also said it is “proof that the old systems still operate properly and provide results.”

“All in all,” said Barak, “these are very important days, both to the advancement of our cooperation with the U.S. as well as to the ongoing activities against Hamas and other terrorist organizations in Gaza, which may intensify and expand.”

The Patriot test firing took place as Gaza-based terrorists repeatedly fired rockets at southern Israel, and Barak also mentioned and praised the Iron Dome anti-missile system, which has been very successful at shooting down terrorist rockets before they hit populated areas.

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