Germany ships anti-missile defense systems to Israel
Wed Jan 29,10:41 AM ET
NORDENHAM, Germany - The German military on Wednesday began loading two anti-missile defense systems onto a ship bound for Israel, which requested the weapons to fend off any Iraqi attack if war breaks out in the region.
Workers used cranes to load camouflaged metal crates containing parts of the Patriot batteries onto a chartered freighter expected to leave the North Sea port of Nordenham overnight. The cargo will arrive in Israel in about two weeks, the German army said.
German and Israeli officials earlier this month signed a two-year loan agreement for the defense systems, which are armed with 128 rockets designed to intercept surface-to-surface guided missiles before they reach their target.
Israel dropped a request to Germany for armored troop carriers after members of the German government expressed concern they could be used for incursions into Palestinian areas.
Iraq fired long-range Scud missiles at Israel, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar during the 1991 Gulf War.