A ministerial committee approved on Wednesday (Apr. 13) the request of Defense Minister Ehud Barak to purchase four additional Iron Dome anti-rocket batteries. The batteries are expected to be operational within a year and a half and two years.
Government ministers were updated on the operational trial that the Iron Dome system is currently undergoing in southern Israel as well as the possibility of introducing a third Iron Dome battery by the end of 2011.
So far, two Iron Dome batteries have been deployed in the south as part of the operational trial. Since last week, soldiers operating the Iron Dome system have successfully intercepted eight rockets fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip.
Defense Minister Barak called Wednesday's approval of the four additional batteries as an "important step." He said that, upon its full implementation, the Iron Dome system would have a profound influence on the tools of war and the durability of the home front.
Also on Wednesday, President Shimon Peres visited Kibbutz Erez, near the Gaza Strip, and met with the driver of the school bus that was attacked last week by an anti-tank missile fired by terrorists.
"The more they try to hit us, we will get stronger and prevail," Peres said.
Peres praised the success of the Iron Dome system, saying he was "proud that Israel is the only country that has found an answer to rocket fire."