Israeli sources claim the Iron Dome missile defense system has successfully shot down most of the rockets that it has tried to intercept from Gaza.
Ashdod and Kiryat Malachi, Israel
Israel’s Iron Dome system, a relatively new umbrella to stop the Gazan rockets that have been raining down over southern Israel, has achieved a claimed success rate of roughly 90 percent in its most rigorous test yet.
Despite a barrage of more than 800 rockets this week, including several long-range ones targeting Tel Aviv and Jerusalem for the first time in decades, only three Israelis have been killed. But the high-tech system has not been as effective in addressing the other casualty of such escalations: the interruption of school, work, and family life.
“You can’t continue to live like this,” says Danny, a young navy reservist in Ashdod whose apartment shook yesterday when a rocket hit another home in the same complex. “You want to study, but you can’t. Every five minutes you have the missiles and you have to go to the shelter. How can you finish school like that?”
He points to his sister next to him, who turned 15 yesterday, and then up to the damaged apartment, with twisted metal hanging off the front. “This is what she gets for her birthday…. It is not natural.”
The Arab world has criticized Israel's offensive, which so far has killed 53 Palestinians. Israel has justified its Pillar of Defense operation as imperative, given the incessant rocket fire from Gaza, where the Hamas government has proved either unable or unwilling to rein in various militant factions.
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