Monday, April 11, 2011

Iron Dome System Bags 10 More PalArab Projectiles

The Iron Dome anti-missile system shot down 10 more rockets over the weekend - out of 120 shot by the 'Palestinians.'

The Iron Dome counter-rocket defense system intercepted 10 Katyusha and Kassam rockets over the weekend that were fired in the direction of Ashkelon and Beersheba, where the two batteries are deployed.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak called the successful interception by the missile defense system “an extraordinary achievement for the IDF.”

Defense officials said more than 20 Hamas operatives were killed over the weekend and that dozens of others were wounded by a series of air strikes against Hamas positions, bases and launch sites.

The IAF carried out at least 46 strikes in Gaza.

“They have been hit hard and we will continue to strike at them as long as the rocket and terrorist attacks continue,” a senior defense official said on Saturday night.

Everyone here seems to be thrilled. This is JPost's Yaakov Katz.

There are two main differences between this current escalation and the one that led to Operation Cast Lead two years ago.

First, Israel is not agreeing so quickly to a cease-fire, and has made clear that it will not accept one in which Hamas fires rockets and Israel refrains from firing back.

“It will either have to be a full cease-fire, or nothing,” a senior defense official explained Saturday night.

The second difference is the successful operation of the Iron Dome counter-rocket system.

Many people from within and outside the defense establishment had questioned its capabilities.

They were wrong. Based on the 10 interceptions since Thursday, Iron Dome works.

While it does not intercept every rocket fired into Israel, that is because it is designed to intercept only those set to strike populated areas. If the system detects a rocket falling in an open field, it will not fire an interceptor. At the same time, there are still only two batteries – deployed outside Beersheba and Ashkelon, respectively – hardly enough to provide an adequate defense for southern Israel.

Nevertheless, this does provide Israeli leaders with unprecedented diplomatic maneuverability.

While rockets are hitting within Israel, the damage and number of casualties is lower than it would have been in the past, due to Iron Dome. This means the government does not feel as much domestic pressure to launch a larger offensive against Hamas, and can consider its options more slowly and more carefully.

It also means that the government feels it can continue to strike at terrorists it detects in Gaza, even at the risk of more rocket attacks.

And this is JPost editor David Horovitz satirizing Hamas.

But, damn them and their clever innovations, they haven’t stopped with the alarms and the shelters. Now they’ve come up with this “Iron Dome” gadget.

In a million years, we didn’t think it would work. They’re going to fire rockets at our rockets and shoot them out of the sky?

Yeah, right. This isn’t Xbox or PlayStation. Last time I looked, it was a pretty big sky out there.

But bless my soul, they’ve managed it. Ten of our rockets blasted out of the air in the past two days alone. Nauseating. We were sure we’d have some meaty kills out of those salvoes.

I mean, it’s not even supposed to be working properly yet; it’s still in the experimental stage; the Israeli media were laughing at its developers; they were certain it was useless.

Sometimes, I swear, I start to wonder if God’s on their side. Crazy, huh? I don’t know what’s getting into me. But look at the evidence: This weekend we had a Grad land near a kibbutz administration building. We got one right next to a school in Ofakim. Not a single fatality. A few minutes earlier on Thursday, we might have had a bus full of schoolkids near Kibbutz Sa’ad. But no, they got off just before we hit that bright yellow, sitting- duck target, and all we got was one teenager and the driver.

What? What’s that you say? Put the weapons away? Internalize the sanctity of human life?

That’s ridiculous talk. Next you’ll be telling me to make peace with them. To acknowledge that they have the right to live here. To build a state alongside theirs. To give our people a better future. To turn our attention away from war and violence and death and killing, toward something productive.

Never, I tell you. Never.

And all we have to do is come up with another 20 or so of these systems, and pull back the people who are too close to Gaza for Iron Dome to protect them.

What could go wrong?

Labels: Gaza, Iron Dome

posted by Carl in Jerusalem

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