The IDF on Wednesday deployed an Iron Dome rocket-defense system near Eilat.
IDF officials said that this was part of an operational, systematic program and not a result of any particular information that they had received.
Three weeks ago two Grad-model Katyhusha rockets slammed into the southern Israel; one near Mitzpe Ramon and the other in the southern Arava near Uvda.
The rockets were both identified as 122 mm. Katyushas which have a range of 40 km.with a 30 kilogram explosive warhead. The IDF believed that the rockets were fired from Sinai.
No casualties were reported in the attack, but a number of citizens suffered from shock and were treated by Magen David Adom paramedics.
No one was
wounded and the IDF said that it was not surprised due to the increase in
Palestinian terrorist activity in Sinai. IDF assessments are that the rocket was
either fired by a Palestinian rocket cell from Gaza – affiliated either with
Hamas or Islamic Jihad – or by Beduin freelancers who work for the Gaza-based
In April, terrorists fired at
least one Katyusha rocket from the Sinai Peninsula into Eilat.
“We are starting to think about how to defend Eilat if
there is a requirement to do so,” a senior officer explained at the time.
Dome system has intercepted over 90 rockets fired from the Gaza Strip since the
first interception in April 2011. IDF plans call for the deployment of 13-14
batteries to effectively defend critical infrastructure and population centers
from short-range rockets in Gaza and Lebanon.
The Iron Dome is designed to defend against rockets at a range of
4-70 kilometers. Each battery consists of a mini multi-mission radar
manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries and three launchers, each equipped
with 20 interceptors called Tamirs.
The radar enables Iron Dome operators
to predict the impact site of the enemy rocket and decide not to intercept it if
it is slated to hit an open area. Each interceptor costs between $50,000 and
100,000 and usually two are fired at rockets slated for interception.
Yaakov Katz contributed to this report