Israel deploys iron defense dome amid violence escalation

Israeli soldiers stand next to a launcher, part of the first "Iron Dome" missile defence system (AFP Photo / David Buimovitch)
Israel Defense Forces on Sunday deployed the Iron Dome anti-rocket system aimed at combating the upsurge in rocket fire from Gaza. The military said the system will operate in “preliminary testing stages.”

­The system’s first battery has been put in place on desert terrain near Beersheba, a city in southern Israel, which has experienced two long-range rocket attacks from Gaza in the last week. The authorities, however, have sought to highlight the limits of the system’s preventive measures.

I do not want to foster the illusion that Iron Dome, which we are deploying today for the first time, will provide a complete or comprehensive answer," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday. “Iron Dome is still in the experimental stage and we do not have the possibility of deploying batteries to protect every home, school, base and installation."

Designed and constructed in Israel, the $200-million system, consists of radar, launchers, a control system and a monitor, and works by tracking incoming rockets and striking them down seconds after they are launched.