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Israel's defence against Iran attack 'cost over $1bn'

Israel's defence against Iran missile, drone attack 'cost over $1bn
2 min read
15 April, 2024
Among the missiles used to counter Iran's attack on Saturday were the Arrow and David Sling missiles, which cost $3.5 million and $1 million.
Iran launched around 350 missiles and drones towards Israel, in retaliation for an attack on its consulate in Syria [Getty/file photo]

Israel spent over $1 billion on its defence to intercept Iran’s flurry of drone and missile strikes late on Saturday, a former Israel economic adviser to the army revealed on Sunday.

"The cost of defence last night was estimated at between 4-5 billion shekels ($1.08-1.35B)," General Reem Adminaoch said, as quoted by the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth.

"One Arrow missile used to intercept an Iranian ballistic missile costs $3.5 million, while the cost of one David Sling missile is $1 million, in addition to the sorties of aircraft that participated in intercepting the Iranian drones," he said.

"I am only talking about interception to what the Iranians launched and not injuries that were marginal this time."

Yehoshua Kalisky, a senior researcher at the Institute for National Security Studies think tank in Tel Aviv, told The Wall Street Journal that the costs "were enormous" and comparable to what Israel had spent during the 1973 Arab-Israeli war.

It is not known how much Iran spent on its attacks, though ballistic missiles in the country can cost up to $99,937 (₤80,000), The Guardian said.

Iran launched around 350 missile and drone strikes at Israel late on Saturday in retaliation to an attack on Iran’s consulate in the Syrian Damascus on April 1.

The attack, blamed on Israel, killed at least 16 people, including two senior commanders of the Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force branch, Iranian state television said.

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Iran had vowed to carry out a revenge attack following the incident.

Daniel Hagari, the Israeli army spokesperson, said Tel Aviv intercepted 99 percent of Iran’s missiles and drones, though some ballistic missiles penetrated Israeli defences and hit the Nevatim Airbase in the south of the country.

Hagari pointed out that "Iran's attempt to destroy the capabilities of the Israeli Air Force has failed, and that the Nevatim base continues to operate."

Tehran, however, said that half of the missiles hit Israeli targets "successfully".

The attacks come in the backdrop of Tel Aviv’s deadly military onslaught in the Gaza Strip, which has killed 33,797 Palestinians as of Monday, mostly women and children.

Israel launched an air and ground military offensive on the Gaza Strip on October 7, and has since targeted other neighbouring countries, chiefly Lebanon and Syria.

The latest attacks and hostilities have fuelled international concerns of a wider conflict in the region.

Iran and Israel are largely considered arch-foes in the region, having fought a shadow war for years.