New details have emerged regarding the missile interception of Syria’s attack against Israeli jets. The IAF Aerial Defense Unit commander, who ordered that the missile be intercepted, said: “We had less than 60 seconds. It was a certain ballistic threat, there were no question marks.”

Magic Wand/ David's Sling

Magic Wand/ David’s Sling Photo credit: Ministry of Defense/ Channel 2 News

The Israeli Air Force is currently testing the first battery of Magic Wand, also known as David’s Sling, the new and advanced missile interception system that will join the Arrow and Iron Dome that protect Israel’s skies. Today, Channel 2 News was given a glimpse of the new system and the commanders of the IAF’s Aerial Defense Unit discussed the unusual incident that occurred over the weekend when the Arrow- an older missile defense system- shot down a Syrian missile that had been launched against Israeli fighter jets that had attacked a weapons convoy in Syria.

Brigadier General Zvika Haimovich, the commander of the IAF’s Aerial Defense, said during a briefing that “the decision to intercept the missile was correct and justified. The missile moved in a ballistic trajectory that threatened communities inside of Israel and therefore it was the correct decision to intercept it.”

Lt. Regev on David's Sling

Lt. Regev on David’s Sling Photo credit: Channel 2 News

In response to criticism that the interception was unwarranted, mainly from former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, Haimovich said that “the Syrian SA5 missile has hundreds of kilograms of explosives in its tip and could be fatal and destructive upon landing.” Barak had said over the weekend that “perhaps there was no need to launch the intercepting missile” and hinted at the need for a more liberal missile interception policy.

How did the interception occur in the small hours of the night? “Soldiers detected a ballistic threat against the State of Israel,” explained General Haimovich. “The policy guidelines and the commands in these types of situations are very clear- intercept and neutralize any threat that endangers the people of Israel. And that’s what we did. I have no doubt that we will be just as ready in the future.”

Haimovich further explained that once the air force fully integrates the new missile defense system, the Aerial Defense Unit “will be better able to serve the State of Israel. It won’t be hermetic and perfect but it comes with even greater capabilities. We are ready for the challenge.”

Lieutenant Koby Regev, who commands the battalion that will work with the Magic Wand system, discussed the implementation process: “We will soon be completing the long and systematic process of integrating a new weapons system. It is a process that includes commanders, combat soldiers and combat support units.” He further explained that it is a “process that involves a significant amount of learning and collaborating with other units and commanders as well as with the soldiers who activated the older systems like the Arrow and Iron Dome.”