December 30, 2008

Dear Members and Friends,

A war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip continues to escalate as it now enters its 4th day and more than 350 people have died. Israel is poised to move into the Gaza Strip after continued daily air strikes on Gaza. More carnage, destruction and loss of lives will happen as there seems the only end to the conflict is military occupation of the Gaza Strip by Israel to rid and clear Hamas and its ability to launch rockets and missiles into Israel.


Israel’s lack of protection of its citizens and nearby cities from a continued year round and recent escalated rocket and missile fire from Hamas in Gaza brought upon the Israeli decision to go to war that has and will continue to kill and destroy people and property in the Gaza Strip.


During a recent visit this fall to Israel, (Link to Alert) MDAA toured and engaged with surrounding Israeli cities that were under continued rocket attack from Hamas in the Gaza Strip. From Ashkelon, Ashdod to Sderot where the Israeli government does not have a deployed rocket missile defense capability to defend those cities and citizens from a rocket or missile attack. The only defense for these cities is an early warning system of electronic alarms of 15 seconds in Sderot’s case and bomb shelters which are made into bus stops, playgrounds and rooms in schools. This type of civil defense against 1,400 rockets a year fired by Hamas has been tolerated by the Israeli public and government as an “acceptable level of conflict” that kept escalation in check and somewhat stabilized the situation inside the region around the Gaza Strip.


Hamas has continued on a consistent basis to use its rockets/missiles for leverage on Israel which are hand made from fertilizers and other materials that have been given on a humanitarian basis or smuggled through its borders or through underground tunnels from Egypt.


The breakage of the ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and the increased escalation of rocket firings from Hamas into Israel caused the tolerance of accepted conflict between the two sides to be no longer tolerable.


It is in this current real world situation that the development and deployment of missile and rocket defense systems is critically essential to stabilize and prevent escalation of war and loss of life caused by the launching of missiles and rockets. Missile Defense provides another option to allow governments and their citizens to be able to tolerate other means of de-escalation rather than to go to war. A deployed and integrated Missile Defense also provides a much stronger and viable deterrent to Hamas.


Currently, Israel is developing the “Iron Dome” Rocket Defense System and the David’s Sling Missile Defense System to defend their cities and people from missile and rocket attacks. It is of urgency that these systems be funded, developed and deployed.


In this region and throughout the Middle East and Asia Minor of religious conflict and high tension there continues a movement by various countries and terrorist organizations to replace air power with a more efficient, cheaper rocket and missile force to project military power beyond borders. It is imperative that we as a world leader develop and deploy missile and rocket defense systems and share those technologies to prevent war and the loss of life.

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