At my initial encounter of ‘Iron Dome’ (with regards to the middle east) what came to mind was a gigantic militarily designed hemispherical structure covering the entire air space of Israel, with the aim of shedding projectiles in the manner of hurled eggs aimed at a rock. Well, I almost immediately scotched the idea knowing that pigs might fly if it slightly suggest any possibility. The iron dome is a rocket-defense interceptor designed to hit rockets & other air borne threats travelling tons of miles from launch to landing. It is much smaller cousin to the Patriot System, which attempts to hit much longer-range, faster incoming missiles. Iron Dome fires interceptors six inches wide and 10 feet long and uses sensors and real-time guidance systems to try to zero in on the rockets.
When an Iron Dome interceptor gets close to an incoming rocket, a proximity fuse triggers the interceptor to detonate, spraying out metal rods that are intended to strike and detonate the warheads on the incoming rockets, neutralizing their ability to
maim people and destroy things on the ground. Incoming rockets that would ordinarily wreak havoc are being blown up in the air, causing nothing but a boom, a puff of white smoke & falling debris.
Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, an Israeli company and Israel Aerospace Industries are the designers of the Iron Dome. The defense weapon is built with 8 batteries with a battery costing not less than $50million.
Israel’s astonishingly effective Iron Dome has prevented Hamas from killing Israeli Jews and spreading civilian population. Ironically, the better Iron dome works, the less sympathy the rest of the world is for a nation that remains under rocket attack.
Israel hardly feels like a place under assault from close range. Bars, restaurants & Mediterranean beaches are still busy. Businesses are still open but traffic is lighter than normal.
The anti-rocket system has gained observers’ attention in the wake of recent heavy rocket exchanges from Gaza & Israel which ‘disturbing reports’ record that increasing death tolls are more than a hundred & twenty most of whom are Palestinian civilians whereas the Gazans have no such sophisticated counter-threat. On the other hand despite consistent barrage of rockets on Tel Aviv & Jerusalem, the world is inclined to view Palestinians as the weak & defenceless ones.
Over 135 rockets have been intercepted since the start of Operation Protective Edge. However, Iron Dome’s success to date creates a painfully high expectation for continued success. The burden is felt most intensely by the operators of the 8 batteries of defense system who are overworked like the paddlers of a slave ship.
As a failing, it will be difficult for Iron dome to live up to the expectations for it. Hamas is consistently upgrading its arsenals with faster and longer range rockets. The nightmare scenario for Israel would be a Hamas or other foe equipped with cruise missiles that can twist and turn in flight to evade interceptors. Or, perhaps sooner, a simultaneous launch of so many rockets that Iron Dome can’t shoot them all down. Doesn’t sound nice for the Jewish nation.
With the current state of affairs, It is disturbingly sad that Western powers & UN are still actively dormant(recently) over the age long conflict that has seen two nations loose hostilities on each other. When the UN refuses to condemn Israel & Palestine for war crimes does that not imply peace is not realistic in the region?
I dream of a state of Palestine living side by side the state of Israel with Jerusalem jointly managed by both without the posture of existential threats.
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