Key point: Israeli missile defense technology is cutting edge.
On July 15th, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) announced it was deploying more Iron Dome missile defense systems near Tel Aviv and other parts of southern Israel.
The Iron Dome is Israel’s most effective defense system against short-range projectiles. The deployment came after Palestinians in Gaza started launching incendiary balloons and kites over the border fence, causing fires in southern Israel.
The IDF portrayed the move as precautionary after a ceasefire with Hamas had been agreed to on Saturday, July 14. However, that ceasefire did not hold, with skirmishes continuing and escalating further on July 20.
According to left-leaning Israeli daily, Haaretz, almost 200 such projectiles had been fired into Israel before the now-failed ceasefire was reached on Saturday night. The report added that “a number of rockets” were fired from Gaza in the early hours of Sunday and some Palestinians continued launching the “airborne firebombs” later that day.
“Yesterday’s attack was not strong relative to the Air Force’s capabilities,” a senior Israeli Air Force official told Haaretz of the retaliation on Saturday.
Still, the same official warned: “We have prepared a large number of targets that will surprise Hamas, targets such as terror tunnels, the Beit Lahia battalion in which we attacked some 20 buildings and a multi-story building in the center of the Gaza Strip that served Hamas as a training facility with a tunnel underneath it.”