Battery of Iron Dome in Be’er Sheba intercepts rockets for first time

The Iron Dome battery deployed in Be’er Sheba intercepted two rockets fired from the Gaza Strip over the course of Friday night. The Iron Dome’s battery in Ashkelon intercepted as many as four rockets. The IAF struck Hamas in the southern Gaza Strip

Date: 09/04/2011, 2:01 PM     Author: IDF (Zahal) Website

The Iron Dome system deployed in the Israeli city of Be’er Sheba, for the first time successfully intercepted two Grad rockets launched toward the city. The second battery, deployed in Ashkelon, successfully intercepted four rockets fired from the Gaza Strip. Over the course of Friday night (Apr. 9), rockets and mortar shells continued to be fired toward communities surrounding the Gaza Strip, most of them landing in open areas.

The IDF (Zahal) wishes to stress that this new air force system, the Iron Dome, is currently deployed in cities and intercepts rockets with its own missiles only if those rockets are aimed at populated areas.

The IAF has continued striking terror sites in the Gaza Strip, one of its aircrafts targeting a vehicle in the southern Gaza Strip on Friday night holding three Hamas operatives. Other sites were also targeted over the past 24 hours, all activities joint efforts between the IDF (Zahal) and the Israel Security Agency.

Lt. Col. Shabi Ben-Boher, commander of the Iron Dome unit, said, “Though we knew we’d be deploying the system earlier than expected, in these past few days it was decided to use it operationally.” He continued saying, “We are in a trial period and as such will act slowly and with great consideration to ensure that the first interceptions will be successful.”

Lt. Col. Ben-Boher said the system’s soldiers have been waiting for such operational successes for some time. “The batteries have been training for over a year to be ready operationally and professionally. This includes the unit, all its soldiers and people responsible for operating it. The system was ready and proved itself in trials against a wide array of threats. We are ready,” he said.