Report: Saudi Arabia acquires Iron Dome system from Israel

The deal was reportedly carried out with American mediation and includes expert exchanges and the acquisition of advanced weapons systems. Israel denies the report.

By: World Israel News Staff

Saudi Arabia has acquired its first Iron Dome anti-rocket system from Israel as part of a recent rapprochement between the two countries, the Saudi newspaper Al-Khaleej Online reported Thursday.

According to the report, the deal was carried out with American mediation.

Diplomatic sources cited in the report claimed that the deal between Jerusalem and Riyadh included “expert exchanges” and the acquisition of advanced and sophisticated weapons systems similar to those carried out by the United Arab Emirates.

The report said that the first Iron Dome batteries will be deployed in December on the border between Saudi Arabia and Yemen, from where the Houthi rebels have launched missiles into the kingdom.

The paper’s correspondent in Jerusalem, Nader Safadi, reported that Israel initially refused to sell the advanced missile interceptor system to an Arab state for fear of harming its own security. However, the US has reportedly convinced Israel that the Saudis would pledge not to endanger Israel or its allies.

Israeli security officials denied the report.

The Iron Dome is a missile and rocket interception system developed in 2007 by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Israel Aircraft Industries. Since its deployment, the system has intercepted more than 1,700 missiles and rockets fired at Israel, almost entirely by the Hamas terror organization from Gaza, although it has also downed mortar shells in the Golan Heights and intercepted rockets fired from Lebanon.

The system registered a 90-percent success rate during Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014.