A senior Israeli official said on Tuesday that Israel has reached an agreement with the United States on the establishment of an international missile defense system and would soon decide whether to extend the agreement beyond its current three-year term.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump had discussed the creation of a missile defense shield in the past, but it had never been formalized.
“We have reached an understanding with the US and with the U.S. administration on this issue,” the official said, declining to provide further details.
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu (L) speaks to US President Trump during their meeting in the Oval Office of the White House, U.N. headquarters, June 24, 2021.
Israel will first need congressional approval, which has been postponed by the U and Russia.
But the official, speaking on condition that he not be named, said the agreement was being finalized in the context of a broader Israeli-U.S.-Russia agreement to build a missile shield that is expected to include an interceptor interceptor, which will be launched by Israel from the Mediterranean Sea.
This system, he added, will include the ability to intercept incoming missiles and deliver them to Israel from a base in southern Israel.
The official said that Netanyahu was scheduled to hold a cabinet meeting in Israel on Thursday, where he was expected to unveil plans to build and operate the system.
In the past several months, Netanyahu has faced calls from Israeli lawmakers to expand the current U.s.-Israel agreement to include a missile-defense system that will also include an electronic warfare system that is likely to be part of the shield.