Israeli planes (and everyone else’s planes) are vulnerable to missiles that downed MH17

Wreckage of a Malaysian airliner carrying 295 people from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur after it crashed, near the town of Shaktarsk, in rebel-held east Ukraine, July 17, 2014. (photo credit: AFP/DOMINIQUE FAGET)

Planes landing at and taking off from Ben Gurion Airport have nothing to worry about from Hamas rockets, according to one of the world’s foremost experts on missile defense, but the antiaircraft missiles thought to have brought down the Malaysian airliner over Ukraine are another matter altogether.

No one is safe from them.

“The rockets Hamas fires, even the big ones that can reach Tel Aviv, are like big firecrackers and are not capable of hitting or bringing down a commercial airliner,” according to the expert, Uzi Rubin. “With Iron Dome, the chances of such a hit are next to nothing.”

If travelers to and from Israel should be worried about anything, said Rubin, it’s the military-grade missiles in the hands of Hezbollah, which could target and take down a plane flying over the Mediterranean. “Iran has these Russian-made systems, which means that Syria and Hezbollah have them as well.” Hamas, he said, apparently does not have them — at least not yet…

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