[Ed. – This is peculiar — right now — to the situation in southern Israel, where commercial aircraft are very close to the border with the Sinai peninsula when they are taking off and landing at Eilat. Terrorists only have access to missiles with short ranges and limited altitudes, at least for now. But the day may be coming soon when they can field more capable anti-air missiles; e.g., Hezbollah might be able to hit jetliners going to or from Ben Gurion from southern Lebanon, or Hamas hit aircraft in the commercial air corridor from Gaza.]
According to a report Monday in the daily Yedioth Ahronoth, the Israeli defense establishment gave the order to deploy the SkyShield missile defense systems to Arkia and Israir flights to Eilat two weeks ago, after an Islamic State-affiliated group carried out a major offensive against the Egyptian military in the Sinai.
The new defensive measure, the report said, was introduced in response to concerns that terrorist groups operating in the Sinai Peninsula may try to attack planes flying near the border between Israel and Egypt.
The Defense Ministryannounced last yearthat it had completed testing the SkyShield system, which was deemed “100 percent successful.”
The system combines lasers and a thermal camera to thwart ground-to-air missiles and change the inbound projectile’s trajectory.