Monday, March 12, 2012

Israel Responds to Rocket Attacks From Gaza

At Wall Street Journal, "Missile Defenses Give Israel Measure of Calm in Conflict."

BEERSHEBA, Israel—Facing the worst barrage of rockets from Palestinian militants since 2009, Israel is getting a boost from a new interceptor system that destroys missiles in midair before they fall on population centers.

The "Iron Dome" missile system has provided an added layer of security for Israel's homeland by downing dozens of rockets in the past four days, buying more time for the country's leaders to confront militants with less citizen pressure to stem hostilities.

The system underlines Israel's shifting doctrine of emphasizing defense capabilities in addition to its offensive firepower, and offers a preview of how Israel will handle any retaliatory missile threat posed by Iran in the event of a pre-emptive strike against its nuclear facilities.

"It hasn't been easy to put into the public and military consciousness the need to learn defense and not only attack,'' Israeli Intelligence Minister Dan Meridor told Israel Army Radio on Sunday. "The Israeli character is aggressive."

Iron Dome is one four missile-defense systems used by Israel that are designed to block rockets with different ranges held in the arsenals of Iran and its allies Hamas and Hezbollah. Iron Dome, manufactured by Israel's Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, is designed to stop short-range missiles.

Boeing Co.'s Arrow II missile system—developed with Israel after the 1991 Gulf War, when Iraq hit Tel Aviv with Scud missiles—was designed to intercept Iran's long-range Shihab missiles.
Also, from the IDF, "Israel Under Fire: More Than 200 Rockets Fired From Gaza."

And more at Memeorandum.