The Ramon Crater geological site in southern Israel will be closed to the public for four days due to testing of the defense system, the military said Sunday.
According to the IDF, the crater will be closed from Monday due to a test run by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.
The main road around the crater will be closed to civilian traffic, and the crater itself will be closed to visitors from 2 p.m. Sunday, as will areas east of Highway 40, leading into the Arava Desert. .
The tests are expected to begin inside the Ramon crater and require the area to be closed to civilians, with the approval of IDF Southern Command chief Maj. Gen. Eliezer Toledano.
In a statement, the military called on visitors to obey instructions and avoid military and defense installations.
Rafael operates a proving ground southwest of the crater that is off-limits to civilians on weekdays and only allows visitors on weekends and holidays. The MoD instructions, however, are broader than the usual restrictions that have been in place for years.
Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. is an Israeli defense technology company, developing and producing weapons and defense technology for the IDF as well as for export abroad. The company was initially part of the Ministry of Defence, but became an independent limited company in 2002.
Among its products is the Iron Dome missile defense system.
The crater is a geological feature located in southern Israel. The relief is the largest “circus of erosion” in the world and has the shape of an elongated heart. Despite the appearance of the crater’s name, it is not an impact crater formed as a result of a meteor crash, nor a volcanic crater formed as a result of a volcanic eruption.