The IDF on Friday tested out a new rocket propulsion system, firing a rocket from an army base in the center of the country. In a statement, the Defense Ministry said that the firing was part of a test that had been planned long in advance, and that the test had been successful.
No further details were released by the ministry. Foreign news reports in recent weeks said that Israel has been upgrading its ballistic missile system, among them the Jericho missile, which is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. A report on Channel 12 Friday said that the test was one of a series designed to increase the accuracy of the missiles and to examine the extent of their range.
The ministry statement said that the test had been planned in advance and was not conducted in response to any geopolitical event, but Israeli analysts connected it to recent increases in tension with Iran.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu refused to discuss details of a reported attack in Syria on Wednesday. According to Arab media reports, an Iranian weapons warehouse was hit Wednesday night in an attack in eastern Syria.
On Thursday Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met in Lisbon with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Speaking before the meeting, Netanyahu said that it would focus on, among other things, Iran’s “destabilizing influence in the region. Iran’s aggression is growing, but its empire is tottering, and I say, let’s make it totter even further,” Netanyahu said.
Speaking earlier, Netanyahu said that “We’re seeing the Iranian empire totter. We see demonstrations in Tehran, demonstrations in Baghdad, demonstrations in Beirut. It’s important to increase this pressure against Iranian aggression.”