Israel is deploying a second battery of Arrow anti-missile missiles in the centre of the country, the military confirmed Friday.
The deployment comes amid rampant speculation that the United States will attack Iraq, though the White House said Thursday that no decision has been made.
These pictures show the radar of the Arrow 2 system already place at Ein Shemer, east of the central Israeli town of Hadera. The missiles themselves are to be deployed at a later stage, the military said.
In its statement, the military made no reference to the growing tensions between the United States and Iraq, saying only the Arrow battery is being deployed as part of a multi-year test program.
The deployment comes despite strong opposition by local residents.
In the event of a U.S. attack on Iraq, it is widely believed Iraq would retaliate by firing missiles at Israel. During the 1991 Gulf War, Iraq fired 39 Scud missiles at Israel. Most struck the Tel Aviv area.
The Arrow 2 anti-tactical ballistic missile (ATBM) has already been successfully test-fired in Israel.
One of the most advanced missile defence systems available, it is capable of destroying Scud-type missiles.