A rocket propulsion test has been conducted at the Palmahim military base, according to a report by military journalist Carmela Menashe on Israel Radio last week. "It was a test of the missile that foreign publications call the Jericho," Menashe said. It seems the broadcast was intended to help deter Iran. The item also pointed to a link between the test and articles in the foreign media on Israel's development of a Jericho missile with a 5,000-kilometer range that can carry a one-ton warhead.
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It also seems the item on the Palmahim test is a tool in crafting Israel's deterrence policy. Three years ago the British newspaper The Guardian published an article on the nuclear ties between Israel and South Africa that also mentioned the Jericho. Back then, in May 2010, the issue was completely ignored. The media didn't press the point and missed the chance to send a message to the Iranians.
Three years have passed and the likelihood that the Iranians will obtain nuclear weapons grows. Therefore the time has come to lift the ambiguity that surrounds the ballistic missiles that according to foreign publications Israel has had for the past four decades.
Indeed, based on academic studies and foreign publications, Jericho missiles would play a key role in Israel's deterrence policy against Iran. If and when the Iranians possess nuclear weapons, Israel would presumably be forced to change its policy, abandon its nuclear ambiguity and implement a policy of open deterrence. This would be the best way to prevent the Iranians from even thinking about using their nuclear weapons.
Israel would need to make clear to the rulers in Tehran that the price their country would pay if they launched nuclear missiles at Israel would be insufferably high. If Israel noticed a missile heading from western Iran, it wouldn't wait for that missile to hit. Israel would immediately launch what foreign sources have attributed to it. It would aim Jericho missiles at key Iranian cities and destroy them. It's hard to believe that Iran has an interest in being sent back to the Middle Ages; in seeing it cities laid waste just to kill several hundred thousand Zionists.
Websites are chock full of details on the Jericho. These sites say Israel has developed three models that can each carry a nuclear warhead. The Jericho I has a range of 500 kilometers, the Jericho II has a range of 1,500 kilometers, and the Jericho III has a range of 5,000 kilometers.
The Iranians are surely reading these publications and are aware that Israel has a ballistic missile that can hit every part of Iran. Israel Radio's report tying the Palmahim test to the Jericho missile is intended to signal to the ayatollahs that they must take seriously these "reports in foreign publications."