US, Israel plan joint air-defense exercise

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JERUSALEM — The United States and Israel are preparing to stage a major joint missile- and air-defense drill in Israel this month, an exercise that will showcase the allies’ longtime military partnership as they debate how to handle the Iranian nuclear threat.

About 1,000 U.S. troops are en route to Israel for the drill, in which they and Israeli soldiers will use U.S. and Israeli antimissile defense systems and a U.S. missile defense ship to respond to simulated attacks from multiple fronts, according to the commanders heading the operation.

The drill comes amid high international tensions over the Iranian nuclear program and a countdown to national elections in both the United States and Israel, whose leaders have sparred over the issue.

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