First American military base opens in Israel (Video)

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For the first time in history, the U.S. Stars and Stripes are flying inside an American military base in Israel.

Israel and the United States Army celebrated the opening of the brand new U.S. military base in southern Israel in a ceremony Monday, which Israelis and Americans have been working on for the past two years.

Brigade Gen. Zvika Haimovitch, head of the IDF’s Aerial Defense Division, said, “Due to the close cooperation between us and the American forces in the field of air defense, as well as the extensive experience accumulated by the Aerial Defense Division, it was decided that the first permanent base of the American Army would be established at the School of Air Defense.”

“This is the first time that we have an American flag flying in an IDF base,” Haimovitch stating, adding that the base “represents the long-standing partnership, the strategic commitment between the armies and the militaries of our countries” and “adds another layer to the security of the State of Israel in defending the threats of rocket or missile fire.”

Several dozen American soldiers will remain stationed at the base to operate a missile defense system. It is located within an existing Israeli air force base.

“It’s a message that says Israel is better prepared. It’s a message that says Israel is improving the response to threats,” Haimovitch said.

Iran is considered to be Israel’s greatest threat, due to the country’s nuclear threats and development of long-range missiles.

America and Israel have worked together to develop several missile defense systems, including the Iron Dome, which is designed to shoot down short-range rockets. In addition, Israel has the Arrow system, designed to intercept ballistic missiles outside of Earth’s atmosphere, and David’s Sling, designed to intercept tactical ballistic missiles and medium-to long-range rockets, as well as cruise missiles fired at ranges between 40 to 300km, the Jerusalem Post reported.

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