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Iron Dome successfully intercepts Gaza rockets for first time

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04/07/2011 12:12 PM
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Iron Dome successfully intercepts Gaza rockets for first time
[link to www.haaretz.com]

Missile defense system intercepts two rockets fired at Ashkelon as three rockets from Gaza land in open area in Negev; IDF launches strike on targets in Gaza following attack on school bus earlier in the day.
By Anshel Pfeffer and Yanir Yagna

The Iron Dome missile defense system on Thursday successfully intercepted for the first time two rockets that were fired at the Israeli city of Ashkelon from the Gaza Strip.

According to reports from the area, the interception could be seen in Israeli towns near northern Gaza. The second Iron Dome battery was positioned in the area of Ashkelon over the weekend, in addition to a battery already placed north of Be'er Sheva.

Test of the Iron Dome rocket-defense system on Monday July 19, 2010. The military said the test was highly successful.

Last week, the Iron Dome anti-rocket system was deployed for the first time and the system has been working as an "operational experiment" since Sunday.

The Israeli-developed system uses cameras and radar to track incoming rockets and is supposed to shoot them down within seconds of their launch.

Security officials said the new barrage of rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip and public pressure had led the military to deploy the system, which is still being fine-tuned. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss operational decisions.

Meanwhile on Thursday, three rockets landed in an open area in the Negev region, as well as 15 mortar shells, following an attack on a bus carrying children which wounded two people.