Washington, Sept. 1 — The Israeli military has placed a new “Iron Dome” anti-rocket system in the southern coastal city of Ashdod to protect Israelis from strikes by terrorists in Hamas-run Gaza, which lies just 23 miles away.
“The deployment is part of a national emergency plan that I announced several weeks ago and is a demonstration of Israel’s commitment to defend its citizens from rockets and missiles,” Defense Minister Ehud Barak said on Wednesday.
The Ashdod installation marks the third deployment of the anti-rocket protective barrier and coincides with the opening of the new school year. Beersheba and Ashkelon, two other southern Israeli cities that have been hit by hundreds of rockets from Gaza, have the first two batteries in the system.
Iron Dome is a mobile defense system that shoots down incoming rockets with ranges of up to 43.5 miles (70 km) before they land; it is produced by Israeli manufacturers and the Israeli government has ordered more of them to protect civilians. The installations shot down the first rockets from Gaza earlier this year.