IDF concerned over poor Iron Dome interception rate – report

Six Hamas rockets reportedly got through out of 16 heading for populated areas in the last day.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

The IDF is currently investigating why the Iron Dome anti-missile system recorded a much poorer interception rate than usual after six of the 104 rockets Hamas launched at southern Israel on Tuesday hit populated areas, Hebrew-language Ynet reported Tuesday.

In one round of 22 rockets, two out of six heading for the town of Sderot were not intercepted. One struck a construction site, wounding three Chinese employees, one of them seriously. Two others were also brought to the hospital with various light injuries. Another hit the garden of a home.

Although the young son of the family said they had only a few seconds’ warning from the air-raid sirens, his family managed to reach the safe room and were not hurt in the subsequent explosion right outside their house. Cars were among the property damaged by the shrapnel.

In another round of 26 launches, only six out of 10 heading for built-up areas were destroyed by Iron Dome interceptors, the report said. A few people were brought to hospital suffering from panic attacks after the barrages.

A 62.5% success rate is far below the average of 96% that the Iron Dome enjoyed during the 55-hour period of last August’s Operation Breaking Dawn, when some 1,100 rockets were launched out of the Gaza Strip by Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).

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The IDF, however, issued a newer statement Wednesday morning that the Iron Dome intercepted 24 of the projectiles, marking a 90% interception rate of rockets heading for populated areas. Another 48 projectiles landed in open areas in southern Israel, 14 fell short in Gaza, 11 landed in the sea, and another seven had unknown impact sites, IDF spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari told reporters.

During Operation Guardian of the Walls in May 2021, some 3,400 Hamas rockets and mortars crossed the Israeli border, with the IDF reporting that the Iron Dome had about a 90% success rate against those heading for populated areas.

Israel’s Defense Ministry and defense company Rafael are reportedly close to completing a laser system that would be able to destroy airborne threats with 100 kilowatts of heat concentrated into a beam the diameter of a 10-shekel coin. Called “Light Shield” or “Iron Beam,” it will complement the Iron Dome system, as it cannot work as well as a physical interceptor in bad weather conditions.