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Israel will add missile defense to airliners

JERUSALEM — Israel will within weeks begin outfitting its airliners with defense systems designed to thwart missile attacks, Israeli military officials said Friday.

The officials said the system fires flares that distract an incoming missile's heat-seeking mechanism. It will be installed first on planes flying to destinations considered dangerous, especially in Africa and parts of Asia.

Other nations, including the United States and Singapore, have said they also were working on similar antimissile defenses for jetliners. Some systems use flares to deflect missiles and others use lasers to jam a missile's heat-seeking guidance equipment.

The need was recognized in 2002, when an Israeli passenger jet was targeted after takeoff by Islamic militants using shoulder-fired missiles outside Mombasa, Kenya. The rockets missed, but spurred Israel to find a way to protect its airliners.

Armored vehicles for Palestinians: Israel has agreed to let Russia deliver 25 armored vehicles to Palestinian security forces in the West Bank, Israeli Defense Ministry spokesman Ronen Moshe said Friday. The move is meant to bolster moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Bomb injures teen: The teenage son of a Christian pastor was seriously wounded when a package bomb delivered to the family's West Bank home went off in his hands, Israeli officials said Friday. Police wouldn't release further details on Thursday's explosion or discuss possible motives.

Israel will add missile defense to airliners 03/21/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 28, 2010 9:45am]

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