The U.S. has established its first, co-located permanent military base in Israel on Monday in a mostly symbolic move to reaffirm relations.
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The new base opens as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US president Donald Trump plan to meet before the U.N. General Assembly. Gen. Zvika Haimovich, commander of the IAF's Aerial Defense Division.
A few dozen US soldiers will live and work on the base, situated inside the school of the of the Israeli Air Force, in the Negev.
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"This life support area represents the first ever stationing of a U.S. Army unit on Israeli soil", said Maj.
According to the Times of Israel, Haimovitch also said that this base "allows us to improve our defence in discovery and in interception and in preparedness".
"Part of the process of establishing the foundation stems from the process of a culture of cooperation. I appreciate the way the Americans respect the state of Israel", Haimovich said". Gen. Zvi Haimovitch called "nothing less than historic".
The barracks, which officially opened during a ceremony Monday, will house about 40 soldiers, U.S. European Command said Tuesday.
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The U.S. military's missile defense mission in Israel isn't new.
"The United States and Israel have long planned together, exercised together and trained together". "And now with the opening of this site, these crucial interactions will happen every day". The base will be established inside one of the IDF's already existing Air Force bases used for air defense. Thousands of Israeli and American soldiers take part in the drill. "It was instead shot down by one Patriot missile that was sacked by Israeli air defence soldiers".
Earlier this year, Israel intercepted another drone that strayed into the Golan airspace from neighboring Syria.
Haimovitch also noted that the process to open the base began under former U.S. president Barack Obama and continued under President Donald Trump, showing that the "connection between the armies, the commanders, the [air] forces, is stronger than this or that administration".
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Israel maintains an elaborate missile-defense system to guard against a wide range of threats, including Iron Dome, which was created to shoot down short-range rockets fired from the Gaza Strip.