August 24, 2006
After Hizbullah fired close to 4,000 rockets and missiles at northern Israel over the past month, Defense Minister Amir Peretz ordered the defense establishment on Thursday to begin developing an anti-missile defense system.
"This is the key to enable the IDF to face its challenges on all of the different fronts," Peretz told defense officials during a security assessment meeting on Thursday at the ministry in Tel Aviv.
Peretz also ordered IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz to ensure that emergency warehouses were refilled with suitable and adequate equipment and that reservists began to receive proper training to prepare them for the next war.
Military Intelligence was said to be split on the question of when Israel's next war against Hizbullah will erupt, with some officials claiming that it is a matter of months and others predicting that it would not start for at least two years.
Israel has in the past invested in an anti-rocket defense system that would also be effective against the Kassam rockets fired by Palestinian terror groups in the Gaza Strip. One such project was the Nautilus - known today as the Skyguard - which was developed in the US and was successful in intercepting and destroying incoming short-range rockets.
Israel, however, ditched the project claiming that the prototype did not suit Israel's needs since it was not mobile due to its large size. Officials also have said that the Nautilus was too expensive and that its purchase did not make sense economically.