Barak confirms: 'Iron Dome' to be deployed within days
LAST UPDATED: 03/25/2011 18:03
Defense minister says anti-rocket system likely move around to meet operational needs; cautions system is not a 100% solution.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Bennie Gantz Photo: Ariel Harmoni / Defense Ministry
Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Friday confirmed that he authorized the deployment of the Iron Dome missile defense system.
during a tour of the Gaza region, Barak said: "I authorized the IDF in
the coming days to authorize the first operational deployment of Iron
Dome batteries, here in the southern region."
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The test deployment, he said, "will continue for several weeks and the layout will vary with operational needs."
The defense minister praised Iron Dome's technology, calling it an
"extraordinary development" by the defense industry. He cautioned,
however, that it does not provide a 100 percent solution to the rocket threat.
The Iron Dome system will be part of the IDF's solution to the barrage
of rockets fired into southern Israel from Gaza in the last week, a
statement from the IDF spokesperson said.
Iron Dome is designed to defend against rockets at a range of 4-70 km
and each battery consists of a multi-mission radar manufactured by
Israel Aerospace Industries and three launchers, each equipped with 20
interceptors named Tamir.
The defense minister also praised the IDF's operations in the southern
region. "The IDF is doing a very good job - very professional and
creative, with [good] results, along the border and in the Gaza Strip
itself," he said.
"Terror organizations in the Strip took a hard
hit during the last 10 days," Barak said, adding that the groups had
lost fighters during that period.
He noted that "some 100 rockets
and mortars that reached communities further [from the Strip] than
usual" were hit, including Beersheba, Ashdod, Sderot, Ashkelon, and the
Gaza border-region communities. "We have no intention to allow terrorist
organizations to renew the situation and breaking the status quo," he
said. The defense minister added, "We will act as it is needed to return
the operations back to the [border] line itself."
recommend to Hamas or Islamic Jihad to attempt and return us to the
situation when [rockets] were fired at areas deep into the country and
at communities in the border region."