News / Middle East

Israel Relying on Iron Dome for Defense as it Presses Gaza Offensive

FILE - An Iron Dome launcher fires an interceptor rocket in the southern Israeli city of Ashdod.
FILE - An Iron Dome launcher fires an interceptor rocket in the southern Israeli city of Ashdod.
VOA News

As its warplanes continue a campaign of airstrikes in the Gaza Strip, Israel is relying on its Iron Dome missile defense system to protect its people from rockets fired by Hamas militants.

Since beginning an operation last week to try to halt the rocket attacks, the Israeli military says the Iron Dome has shot down about 200 of the more than 1,000 rockets fired from Gaza.

The system is designed to intercept rockets that could hit populated areas, while ignoring those bound for places like empty fields. 

It uses radar to detect that a rocket has been fired, software to determine its likely destination and missiles that cost tens of thousands of dollars apiece to fly into the path of the rocket and destroy it.

Iron Dome, Israel missile defense systemIron Dome, Israel missile defense system
x
Iron Dome, Israel missile defense system
Iron Dome, Israel missile defense system

The system was developed by the Israeli state-run defense company Rafael along with help from two other firms. The United States has given Israel hundreds of millions of dollars for the Iron Dome since it was first deployed in 2011.

Its first major test came in late 2012 during a similar flare-up of rocket attacks and Israeli airstrikes. Israeli and U.S. officials said the Iron Dome intercepted about 85 percent of its targets, a number that has risen to about 90 percent in the latest conflict.

The system has allowed the Israeli military to alter its strategy in responding to rocket fire. 

During a three-week war that ended in early 2009, Israel sent ground troops into Gaza in addition to carrying out airstrikes in a conflict that killed more than 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis.

In the past week, militant rockets have killed zero Israelis. In Gaza, more than 185 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli airstrikes.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid