Iron Dome battery moved south after Gaza-rocket attacks

Barak deploys anti-rocket battery outside Ashkelon following continued attacks from Gaza; IAF strikes five targets throughout Strip.

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August 5, 2011 13:47
1 minute read.
Irone Dome missile defense system near Beersheba

Iron Dome outside Beersheba 311 (R). (photo credit: Reuters)

 
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Due to the recent escalation in rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, Defense Minister Ehud Barak decided Friday to deploy an Iron Dome anti-rocket defense battery outside the southern city of Ashkelon.

Barak’s decision came after close to 30 rockets were fired into Israel since the beginning of July.

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The Israeli Air Force (IAF) currently has two operational Iron Dome batteries, and is expected to receive a third by the end of the year.

On Friday morning, the IAF struck five targets in the Gaza Strip following several strikes earlier Thursday, which came in response to the increase in rocket fire.

The IDF Spokesman’s Office confirmed that the IAF struck four terror tunnels and one terror base in the central Gaza Strip. Another target was struck in southern Gaza. Palestinian sources reported that several buildings were on fire in Khan Yunis following the strike, but there were no reports of injuries.

According to IDF estimates, the increase in rocket fire is Hamas’ way to vent its frustration from being left out of the Palestinian Authority’s current plans to unilaterally declare statehood at the United Nations in September – and as a result, is turning a blind eye to attacks that are carried out by radical groups affiliated with al-Qaida and global-jihad elements.

The Iron Dome counter-rocket defense system successfully intercepted eight Gradmodel Katyusha and Kassam rockets fired from Gaza Strip in April. It has since been moved throughout the country to different cities where the IAF is setting up potential deployment sites in the event of a larger-scale conflict.

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