Israel developing new urban warfare weapon to prevent terrorist ambushes

The Defense Minister’s request comes as the US has said it would halt weapons transfers to Israel if it proceeds with the Rafah operation.

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant requested that the Directorate of Research and Development (MAFAT in Hebrew) develop an “original weapon” for urban warfare, designed to target terrorists hiding in buildings and underground.

Gallant spoke to MAFAT head Danny Gold about a solution to the problem posed by the ongoing war in Gaza where terrorists familiar with the urban landscape can hide in hospitals and in tunnels.

The Defense Minister’s request comes as the U.S. has said it would halt weapons transfers to Israel if it proceeds with the Rafah operation.

MAFAT informed Gallant that tests of a proprietary laser system that can work above and below ground have progressed well but haven’t yet been tested.

The laser system, which is expected to be completed in two years, will work in tandem with Iron Dome and intercept rockets and mortar shells.

In addition, further development of the Arrow 4 missile interception system that helped defend Israel against Iran’s attack is proceeding and has attracted the attention of the militaries of the U.S. and other countries.

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The Defense Ministry also said it would increase MAFAT’s budget to develop specialized chips to enhance military technology and improve battle performance.

Security officials have emphasized that there must be sufficient funds budgeted for these military technologies to keep the public safe and warned against the military budget becoming politicized when Israel’s security is at stake.

Requests for increasing funds for military technology come at a time when the US is threatening to hold up military aid to Israel in protest over the Rafah operation.

Republican and some Democratic politicians in the United States have condemned the Biden Administration for taking this move against one of America’s closest allies.

US Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told Meet the Press that the U.S.’s move to halt weapons to Israel rewards the enemies of both the U.S. and Israel.

He said, “Hamas would attack us if they could. Iran is the largest state sponsor of terrorism that shouts ‘Death to America, ’and Hezbollah is in the same camp.”

He added, “I’ve never heard anybody in Israel chant ‘Death to America.’ The people Israel is fighting are bent on destroying all of the Jews.”