The head of the Israeli army’s research and development division told Army Radio on Sunday that there is growing interest worldwide in Israel’s new “Iron Dome” anti-missile system.
The first two Iron Dome batteries were deployed to southern Israel late last month amid escalating terrorist missile fire from the Gaza Strip.
During a weekend barrage from Gaza, the Iron Dome batteries succeeded in downing all but one of the missiles fired at the coastal city of Ashkelon. The Israeli army and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the performance a resounding success.
“The system’s success has resounded throughout the world, including in the European countries that I visited,” Netanyahu told his cabinet.
But Israel is not ready to start selling the system just yet. First, it needs to be perfected in its defense of Israeli civilians.
To that end, the US Congress at the weekend approved the transfer of $205 million to Israel to build and deploy another four Iron Dome batteries to southern Israel over the next 18 months.
Even with the additional batteries, Netanyahu cautioned that the threat of Gaza missiles cannot be completely eliminated.
During the weekend attack, Hamas and its terrorist allies showed that they can overcome the Iron Dome simply by firing more missile than it can handle. While the Iron Dome did stop eight missiles from hitting Ashkelon, it was helpless to stop the other 120 that hit other communities across southern Israel.
Israeli leaders argued on Sunday that the deployment of the Iron Dome must be accompanied by a sustained offensive military campaign to destroy Hamas’ ability to threaten southern Israel, or at the very least to create a strong deterrence.