Defence chief in Israel

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 1, 2009

Chief of the UK Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshall Sir Jock Stirrup, has made a three-day visit to Israel.

During the trip — which was not publicised by the British or Israeli defence ministries — Sir Jock met IDF Chief of General Staff Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi and other senior officers. Issues discussed included missile defence, Iran’s nuclear programme and methods of defending ground troops from explosive devices. British forces in Afghanistan have a strategy based on Israel’s experience in dealing with suicide bombers and explosives.

Lt-Gen Ashkenazi also spoke with Sir Jock about arrest warrants brought against Israeli officers in British courts.

The British Army is taking delivery of the Watchmaster WK450, its new main unmanned aerial platform, developed jointly by Thales and Elbit and based on Elbit’s Hermes 450.

Visiting the Palestinian Authority, Sir Jock was apprised of the operations of the new American-trained Palestinian battalions co-operating with the IDF in the West Bank.

Last updated: 5:18pm, October 1 2009