The IDF deployed an Iron Dome anti-missile battery near Sderot on Thursday, marking the first time that the rocket-stricken town was placed under a protective shield since the first Qassam fell on it over a decade ago.

“The Iron Dome system is continuing in its process of receiving [new batteries] and commencing their operations,” the IDF Spokesman Unit said in a statement on Thursday. “Locations are selected according to current evaluations and changing security situations.”

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Quoting a military source, Reuters said the deployment was “part of a ‘rotation’ of Israel’s two Iron Domes, while more of the $50 million batteries are prepared.”

Responding to the development, Sderot Mayor David Buskila told The Jerusalem Post that he welcomed the move, but not if it came at the expense of removing protection from other cities.

“I’m happy they deployed it, but I don’t want another city to lose its protection. Israel must invest in the protection of all cities on an equal basis,” Buskila said.

The Iron Dome system successfully intercepted several long-range Grad rockets fired from Gaza at Ashkelon and Beersheba in March.

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