'Timing of escalation in South no coincidence'

JPost reporter Yaakov Lappin discusses Iron Dome, rockets, residents coping with attacks.

By ERIC BERGER, DEBORAH DANAN
March 16, 2012 15:38
1 minute read.
Iron dome battery protects city

Iron dome battery protects city_370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

 
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The rockets launched by terrorists in Gaza last week, which caused no Israeli deaths, allowed Israel to test its defense system in the event of further attacks.

More than 300 rockets were fired over five days of fighting last week. The majority of the weapons were deflected by the Iron Dome, an Israeli missile defense system.

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"The Iron Dome has given people an added sense of security," said Yaakov Lappin, The Jerusalem Post's police and national security correspondent. "They feel better with it. They know that most rockets heading into major cities are intercepted."



Residents in the South generally are proceeding with their daily routines despite the danger.

"I think that there's a lot of quiet trauma going on, especially among children. I think children are very traumatized by the sirens, the panic that they are seeing around them for a few seconds when the siren catches people off-guard," Lappin said.

If Israel decides to take military action against Iran, it could face attacks from both Gaza and Lebanon. The recent escalation would serve as a model for Israel's ability to defend against rocket attacks.

Islamic Jihad and Popular Resistance Committees, the two groups behind the attacks, are presently Iran's closest allies in Gaza.

"Iran has a clear interest in escalating the situation in the South and creating a confrontation," Lappin said.

Hamas has not engaged in the attacks, despite its large arsenal of rockets. Lappin said that the group is trying to strengthen its ties with Egypt and distance itself from Iran.

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