Israel tests missile amid rumors of Iran strike
Cabinet officials deny that strike on Iran is being planned.
Concerned about Iran's nuclear threat, Israel test fired a missile on Wednesday. Local media is warning that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is gearing up for a possible attack on Iran.
A missile like the one tested on Wednesday.
It's believed that the test firing of the missile is a flexing of Israeli muscle and a show of force to a region that has recently experienced great turmoil.
The Israeli Defense Ministry simply explained that the launch was a test of a new propulsion system and refused to elaborate on the details of the missile.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak said in a statement, "this is an impressive technological achievement and an important step in Israel's advances in the realm of missiles and space, which has been a long time in the planning."
The missile is rumored to be a ballistic missile which means it is capable of flying at very long-range striking targets hundreds even thousands of miles away. Such a missile could conceivably be used on a strike against Iran. It is unlikely however, that if the type of missile launched Wednesday is simply being tested that it would be ready for operational use any time soon.
Nonetheless, it is widely believed that Israel has ballistic weapons capability. Missiles known as "Jerichos" and rockets known as "Shavit" are said to be capable of putting satellites into orbit said to be part of the Israeli arsenal. Israel has also been upgrading its shield of interceptor missiles that are designed to shoot down incoming ballistic missiles above the atmosphere.
Dan Meridor, Israel's minister for nuclear in intelligence affairs and a member of Netanyahu's inner cabinet downplayed connections between the missile and a possible strike on Iran. He labeled as "unconscionable" media reports that Israel was planning a strike on its arch nemesis.
Regardless of whether or not Israel is planning to strike Iran it's almost universally agreed that a nuclear armed Iran would be a dangerous destabilizing force in the region. And it has long been speculated that if Iran should come close to deploying a nuclear weapon, that Israel will be forced to make a preemptive strike.
Fortunately, most experts agree that Iran is still many years away from a working nuclear weapon.
© 2011, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Israel, Iran, missiles, test, missile
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