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Israel’s Iron Dome Intercepts Rockets from Gaza

by Brendan McGarry on July 8, 2014

The Israeli military has posted video reportedly showing its Iron Dome missile defense system intercepting rockets fired by Palestinian fighters in Gaza.

Mid-air explosions can been seen against the dark of night and wailing sirens can be heard on the minute-long clip posted on Tuesday by idfnadesk, the official YouTube page of the Israel Defense Forces.

“This is footage of the Iron Dome system intercepting a barrage of rockets fired from Gaza at the Israeli port city of Ashdod,” states a description accompanying the video.

Tensions between the two sides have escalated in recent days after a teenage Palestinian boy was killed following the abduction and killings last month of three Israelis teens.

Almost 100 rockets were fired from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on Monday, according to the Associated Press. After a brief morning lull, the rocket fire resumed on Tuesday, with more than 15 rockets launched toward southern Israel, including the cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon, AP reported.

Five were intercepted by the Iron Dome system, according to the news wire. (Later reports put the number of intercepted rockets at 29.)

Meanwhile, the Israeli military launched an offensive, called “Operation Protective Edge,” striking at least 50 sites in Gaza and mobilizing troops for a possible ground invasion aimed at stopping the rocket barrage, AP reported.

The missile defense system is made by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and funded largely by the U.S. It’s designed to defend cities from short-range rockets and artillery fired from distances of as far as 43.5 miles (70 kilometers).

The House of Representatives last month passed a defense authorization bill that would authorize $351 million for the Iron Dome program in fiscal 2015, which begins Oct. 1.

While that figure is almost double the amount the White House requested for the effort, the legislation would also require that American companies get some of the funding and for the technology to be shared with the Defense Department’s Missile Defense Agency.

The Senate hasn’t yet taken up the measure.

To date, the U.S. has spent almost three-quarters of a billion dollars on the Iron Dome system.

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