(Carl) A new Israeli electrical plant being built in Ashdod is to be used to export electricity to Europe via Cyprus and Crete – and the Egyptians are seething about it. Calling the project Israel’s “High Dam,” after Egypt’s major Nile dam and electrical power station, the reports note that the project will receive joint European-American funding. The project will both aid Israel in reducing its dependence on gas imports and allow the Jewish state to export electricity to Cyprus and Europe.
The Israel Electric Company (IEC) and Greece’s DEH Quantum Energy are expected to sign the MOU in a few weeks’ time. This will lead to a feasibility study, which will be followed – if all goes well – by ratification of the project by the Israeli and Cypriot governments, in the course of 2012.
The cable will be 270 km. long. Another cable will connect Cyprus and Crete, which is part of the Greek electricity grid. An MOU for the longer cable has already been signed between Greece and Cyprus.
According to the Egyptian newspaper Rose al-Youssef, both former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and businessman Hussein Salem, owner of the company in charge of exporting Egypt’s gas, who is currently a fugitive in Spain, knew about this project when they signed deals with the Israeli government.
The closeness of Israel to Cyprus and Greece helped make the High Dam project more feasible, since Israel will be linked to the Cypriot and Greek electricity networks with 53,000 kilometers of connections under the sea to European shores, and is later expected to extend for another 600 kilometers inside European territories.
The electricity generated by the High Dam will provide more than 10 European countries with an electric power estimated at 2,000 megawatts and will reach 4,000 megawatts by 2020.
Israel made information about the dam project available to the majority of European countries involved, but did not notify Egypt, Rose al-Youssef claimed.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu tried to lower expectations about the Iron Dome system Sunday, telling the cabinet that the system could not protect every house, school and army base in the country.March 28, 2011
|Iron Dome defends against rockets
at a range of 4- 70 kilometers:
Barack says:Barak says Iron Dome anti-rocket system to be deployed within days.
Late Friday night a Kassam rocket exploded in Eshkol Regional Council area, causing damage to one house but no injuries. A local official said authorities were searching for a second rocket that had fallen in an open area.
On Thursday, a rocket fired from Gaza exploded north of Ashdod. While there were no injuries, Magen David Adom crew treated a number of people for shock.
Earlier Friday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak confirmed that he authorized the deployment of the Iron Dome missile defense system.
during a tour of the Gaza region, Barak said: “I authorized the IDF in
the coming days to authorize the first operational deployment of Iron
Dome batteries, here in the southern region.”
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..The test deployment, he said, “will continue for several weeks and the layout will vary with operational needs.”
The defense minister praised Iron Dome’s technology, calling it an “extraordinary development” by the defense industry. He cautioned, however, that it does not provide a 100 percent solution to the rocket threat.
The Iron Dome system will be part of the IDF’s solution to the barrage of rockets fired into southern Israel from Gaza in the last week, a statement from the IDF spokesperson said.
Iron Dome is designed to defend against rockets at a range of 4-70 km and each battery consists of a multi-mission radar manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries and three launchers, each equipped with 20 interceptors named Tamir.
The defense minister also praised the IDF’s operations in the southern region. “The IDF is doing a very good job – very professional and creative, with [good] results, along the border and in the Gaza Strip itself,” he said.
“Terror organizations in the Strip took a hard hit during the last 10 days,” Barak said, adding that the groups had lost fighters during that period.
He noted that “some 100 rockets and mortars that reached communities further [from the Strip] than usual” were hit, including Beersheba, Ashdod, Sderot, Ashkelon, and the Gaza border-region communities. “We have no intention to allow terrorist organizations to renew the situation and breaking the status quo,” he said. The defense minister added, “We will act as it is needed to return the operations back to the [border] line itself.”
JERUSALEM (AP) – Israeli aircraft struck a Palestinian rocket squad in the Gaza Strip on Sunday, as a new defense system to protect southern Israel from militants’ rockets prepared to go online after years of development, the military said.
Two Islamic Jihad militants were killed in the attack and one was critically wounded, said the group, which did not specify whether they were in the process of launching rockets.
Gaza militants, including Islamic Jihad and the territory’s Hamas rulers, had said over the weekend that they would cease fire if Israel did. It was not clear whether they were reneging on that pledge or whether the air strike hit a rogue group of militants ignoring the cease fire.
Weeks of stepped-up rocket and mortar attacks have drawn fears of renewed war and led to new calls in Israel for the military to deploy the $200 million Iron Dome anti-rocket system.
The Israeli military said the system should begin operating on Sunday near Beersheba, southern Israel’s largest city. A second anti-missile battery will be deployed in another large southern city, Ashdod, the military added, without specifying an exact date.
Security officials said the new spate of rocket attacks from Gaza and public pressure had led the military to deploy the system, which is still being fine-tuned. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss operational decisions.