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The Israeli Iron Dome keeps the rocket toll under control

The Israeli Iron Dome keeps the rocket toll under control

When Israel carries out airstrikes and artillery bombings in Gaza, the Palestinians have few sources of protection. But when Palestinians fire rockets at the Jewish state, its citizens can test one of the most proven air defense systems for security: the Iron Dome.

Hamas, a Palestinian militant group that controls the New Gaza Strip, has fired more than 2,000 rockets at Israel since Monday, targeting major cities and other towns such as Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

The Islamist movement has maintained the fight, despite Israeli fighters, artillery and tanks it hit the poor Palestinian territory 2m people. At least 122 people have been killed in Gaza since Monday, 31 children and 20 women, and another 900 injured, Palestinian medical officials said.

But, according to the Israeli military, the Iron Dome has detected about 1,000 Palestinian rockets, a system built by Israeli defense companies and co-financed and developed by the United States. Palestinian rockets have killed nine Israelis, including a child, while a woman was running to a shelter and an anti-tank missile killed a soldier.

“The number of Israelis killed and wounded would have been much higher had it not been for the Iron Dome system, which has always been life-saving,” said Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, a spokesman for the Israeli army.

The Iron Dome was specially crafted rougher and shorter-range missiles Palestinian factions fired on Israel, and 10 years ago they first used it to intercept Hamas shots fired from Gaza. Its development accelerated in 2006 after a month-long war with Israel over Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed Lebanese movement, and a three-year conflict with Hamas.

Justin Bronk, a researcher at the Royal United States Defense and Security Investigation Service, said much of the success of the Iron Dome is due to its sophisticated radar system, which will determine whether incoming rockets can surely hit built-in areas. which will do no harm in the open ground. The Israeli military says it is 90 percent effective.

The Iron Dome has 10 batteries spread across the country, each with three interceptors capable of firing 20 interceptors, giving the system the ability to fire 800 missiles at incoming rockets without recharging.

Designed to deal with shorter-range and slower rockets, the missiles it uses are relatively small and inexpensive compared to those used in other air defenses, such as the U.S. Patriot system, and interceptors between $ 40,000 and $ 100,000, Bronk. he said.

The Obama administration increased funding for the U.S. Iron Dome to some extent in favor of Israel. But he also hoped it would help prevent escalating conflicts.

“It was a deliberate calculation by the Obama administration to fund it [general] More than $ 1.5 billion in aid in the end, U.S. military aid, ”Bronk said, adding that it was a condition that Americans could use the interception data for their own research and development purposes.

Ulrike Franke, a senior politician at the European Council on Foreign Affairs, said this week’s events underscored the “political importance” of the Iron Dome, which has allowed Israelis to “continue a relatively normal life while under attack”.

“It allows the government – if Hamas attacks kill hundreds of Israeli civilians, the Israeli government would strongly encourage them to intervene with a ground operation,” he said. “Protected by the Iron Dome, the government has more freedom to maneuver. However, it also gives the government the freedom not to try to find a peaceful solution because it can be attacked at least temporarily.”

But the size of the salutes fired by Hamas this week has still shocked the Israelis, and they have sparked panic in neighborhoods where rockets have violated their defenses.

“I know I won’t be afraid, but you hear the sirens and you feel panic. What if you’re the most unfortunate man in the country today?” said Tomer, mingling in a garage in Jaffa with his baby. Minutes later, an Iron Dome interceptor fired a rocket at his head, leaving traces of smoke in the sky.

The Israeli army was also surprised that Hamas was ready to launch a campaign against the most sophisticated and sophisticated military forces in the Middle East and to jeopardize the consequences.

Hundreds of persistent rocket fire is in danger of overtaking the system. Hezbollah has a larger and more sophisticated rocket stack than Palestinian militants.

“Hezbollah has an arsenal of more than 100,000 rockets and is much better equipped to throw a lot of permanent blows,” Bronk said. “Many of its rockets are also being supplied with Iranian guidance devices, so they are more accurate, which also increases the number that the Iron Dome should detect.”

But he added that the Iron Dome was never meant to be an “absolute defense”.

“It changes behavior psychologically in many ways rather than changing the overall balance of strength of any large-scale team,” Bronk said.

Additional news from Mehul Srivastava in Tel Aviv

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