The IDF reported that Israel’s Iron Dome interceptor has destroyed 97 percent of the Palestinian rockets it has encountered amid the recent uptick in hostilities in Gaza.
Iron Dome, which deploys guided missiles to intercept approaching rockets and other short-range threats mid-air, was first deployed in 2011 and has since received an 85 percent success rating from Israeli and American defense experts. The Gaza War of 2012 saw a rise reaching 90%.
Made by state-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd with support from U.S. firm Raytheon Technologies Corp, Iron Dome is designed to economise on costly interceptor missiles by engaging only rockets that are on a trajectory to hit populated areas.
It has intercepted 97% of these during a flare-up of fighting with Palestinian Islamic Jihad militants in Gaza since Friday, an Israeli military spokesperson said, describing it as the system’s best performance so far.
“We are improving our capabilities all of the time,” the spokesperson said. “Touch wood.”
Islamic Jihad has fired 580 rockets at Israel as of Sunday morning, the spokesman said, adding that around 20% fell short within Gaza while the rest had reached as far as the outskirts of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.