The Israeli army has deployed anti-rocket batteries of its "Iron Dome" air defense system at key points in the country to guard against retaliation by the Palestinian group Islamic Jihad, Israeli media reported late Monday.
Channel 2 news, citing high-ranking military officials, said the army deployed the batteries countrywide, especially in central Israel, and tightened security on the Gaza border after Islamic Jihad threatened to avenge the killing of 10 of the group’s fighters when Israel destroyed a cross-border tunnel on Oct 31. Two fighters belonging to the Palestinian resistance group Hamas were also killed.
The Israel Defense Forces confirmed the anti-missile systems had been installed in central Israel, but would not elaborate on their exact location, citing army policy, Times of Israel reports.
The Iron Dome missile defense system, designed and developed by Israel and jointly funded through the United States, to identify threats from short and medium-range rockets and mortar shells. The system has the capability to identify and destroy such projectiles before they land in Israeli territory and is considered one of the most effective anti-missile systems in the world.
Iron Dome joins Israel's comprehensive missile defense network which includes the David's Sling system, intended to protect against mid-range missiles, and the Arrow Interceptor system, designed to provide defense against long-range ballistic missiles.