Israel's Iron Dome Transforms Battle With Hamas

Image: Israel's Iron Dome Transforms Battle With Hamas A missile is launched by an 'Iron Dome' battery.

Tuesday, 15 Jul 2014 07:39 AM

By Elliot Jager

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The biggest drawback of Israel's Iron Dome anti-rocket defense system is that it is so accurate that citizens could become complacent and ignore sirens warning of attack from Gaza, said Danny Gold, who helped lead the team that developed the weapon, according to The Times of Israel.

Israeli security officials say that by tracking incoming rockets from Gaza and knocking down 90 percent of those that pose a danger to life, Iron Dome is akin to the security barrier that helps keep suicide bombers from the Palestinian Authority out of Israeli cities, The Washington Post reported.

Israelis are getting used to sirens, hearing the boom of Iron Dome intercepting a rocket, and looking up at the blue sky to see vapor trails, the Post reported. "I can't even explain with words how great it is," said Ashkelon resident Sivan Hadad, 32. "Now I can go out. I still get scared, but not like before."

Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and some PLO factions loosely affiliated with Mahmoud Abbas have launched over 1,000 rockets from Gaza at Israel since July 8. While a number of Israelis — including on Monday, two Arab sisters aged 11 and 13 belonging to a Bedouin encampment in the Negev — have been wounded, there have been no fatalities. In Gaza, some 175 Palestinians have been killed since the shooting started on Tuesday including civilians, the BBC reported, citing Hamas government sources.

Iron Dome is not everywhere. A rocket hit a hotel in Eilat setting off a fire overnight Monday, the IDF reported on Twitter.

Israel's former Defense Minister Amir Peretz, who pushed for the Iron Dome project in 2006, said, "If we did not have it and the rockets were falling in Israel, killing people, then the Israeli army would have little choice but to enter Gaza on foot to get rid of the place where the rockets are coming from. This would mean much more civilian casualties on both sides."

Peretz, a political dove, added, "In the end, the only thing that will bring true quiet is a diplomatic solution," the Post reported.

Gold, who is an IDF reserve general and high-tech executive, said that Iron Dome can be improved. He added that the Hamas drone shot down on Monday over Israel by a Patriot Missile could have been taken down by the Iron Dome. "Iron Dome has very huge capabilities that have not yet been demonstrated because there is no need," he said, The Times of Israel reported.

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