‘Israel should develop defence system funded by Saudi Arabia and the UAE’

Retired Brigadier General Efraim Sneh (Wikipedia)

Middle East Monitor  /  November 27, 2019

Retired Brigadier General Efraim Sneh has said that Israel should develop a hypersonic missile defence system funded by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, Arabi21.com reported on Tuesday.

In an article published by Haaretz Hebrew edition, Sneh said that the threat of precision missiles and drones is discussed widely today, but the threat posed by hypersonic missiles is not on the table. He explained that the latter are different to ballistic missiles because their tracks are not expected and they are able to manoeuvre and change direction quickly.

The retired soldier and now politician stressed that the available defence system are not effective against the hypersonic missiles. The only two states which have pioneered the development of this “strategic” weapon are China and Russia, and the technology might fall into the hands of Israel’s enemies, he warned.

The US, noted Sneh, is investing millions in the development of this weapon, but has not completed it yet. He did not explain why he thinks that Gulf States should fund an Israeli defence development project.

Efraim Sneh appears to be following on from US President Donald Trump’s example of calling for Gulf states to pay for military endeavours in the region, claiming they will ultimately benefit from them, in particular because they would be protected from the perceived threat posed by Iran.