Israel's Missile Defense Director Dismissed Over 'Grave' Security Breach

Yair Ramati, who headed the agency in charge of development of Iron Dome, David's Sling and the Arrow missile projects, was found with classified material on his personal computer.

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The Arrow 3 anti-ballistic missile being test-fired.
The Arrow 3 anti-ballistic missile being test-fired.Credit: Defense Ministry

The director of Israel's missile defense program, Homa, has been dismissed after it was discovered that he kept classified materials on his personal computer, contrary to policy.

Yair Ramati, the head of Homa, which oversees the development of the Iron Dome, David's Sling and Arrow missile interception projects, was terminated immediately after "a grave breach of information security was recently found," a statement issued by the Defense Ministry said.

Ramati's position was considered particularly sensitive, which meant that the response to the presence on his personal computer of classified documents, which apparently related to his job, was severe and will continue to be addressed by the Defense Ministry.

Yair Ramati.Credit: TAUVOD YouTube channel

The ministry issued a statement saying: "Yair Ramati has much to his credit and [has made] a major contribution to the defense establishment and to the development of a multi-layered defense system. We wish him great success in the future."

Within the Israel Defense Forces, a number of officers have also been dismissed recently over information security breaches. The commander of the artillery corps in the Northern Command, Col. Ilan Levy, was dismissed from his position after his car was stolen with a file containing confidential documents inside. Ultimately the Shin Bet security service and the Israel Police located the car, with the documents still intact. Lt. Col. Elad Marom, the son of the former head of the Israel Air Force, Eliezer Marom, was removed from his position over the past several months after providing information to an "unauthorized" individual.

In August, the appointment of a commander of a classified operational unit in the IDF Intelligence Corps was withdrawn after it became clear that he had failed to pass a lie detector test. Over the course of the year, the IDF also withdrew the promotion of another officer who had served in a senior post in the Central Command after it was learned that he had leaked information to a reporter. IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot decided at the time to revoke the officer's promotion to commander of a reserve brigade.