Israel conducts second missile test in 2 months

Jan. 31 (UPI) — Israeli defense officials conducted a missile test Friday in the skies over the central part of the country, the second in two months.

The defense ministry didn’t detail the test, but analysts believe it was an exercise involving the Jericho intercontinental ballistic missile.

“The defense establishment conducted a launch test a few minutes ago of a rocket propulsion system from a base in the center of the country,” the ministry said, noting that the drill was scheduled far in advance.

Officials didn’t say whether Friday’s test was successful.

Air traffic was diverted from Israel’s Ben-Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv so military officials could perform the test.

Israel is believed to have surface-to-surface Jericho missiles, which can fire an ICBM with a nuclear warhead, but the government has never acknowledged whether it owns such a system. Officials have confirmed it operates the Iron Dome missile defense system, which can shoot down short-range and smaller rockets.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif said a test last month had been a nuclear missile test “aimed at Iran.”

While Israel does not publicly acknowledge owning nuclear weapons, most experts agree it holds an advanced arsenal.

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