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      Iron Dome to Return to Ashkelon

      The IDF has decided to redeploy the Iron Dome system near Ashkelon following this weeks uptick in rocket attacks.
      By Gabe Kahn.
      First Publish: 8/5/2011, 3:49 PM

      Iron Dome deployed, 27.3.11.
      Iron Dome deployed, 27.3.11.
      IDF Spokesman

      Following the sharp uptick in rocket attacks on communities in Israel's Gaza belt region the IDF has decided to redeploy the Iron Dome missile defense system near Ashkelon.

      The decision came after Ashkelon Mayor Benny Vaknin petitioned Defense Minister Ehud Barak to return the system, which was removed following the lull in attacks after the now stalled Fatah-Hamas unity agreement.

      "Due to the escalation of rocket fire on Ashkelon in recent days, and due to reports of violent escalations expected in September, I demand the return of the Iron Dome of Ashkelon to restore security to the region's residents," Vaknin wrote to Barak.

      "This system has proven itself and will intercept missiles before they strike the city," Vaknin also wrote.

      Yesterday, terrorists fired a pair of rockets at the community of Kiryat Gat, which resulted in several people being treated for shock. The "Color Red" alert system was activated shortly before the rockets struck.

      Early this morning the IAF launched a counter-strike on several Gaza terror targets. Analysts say the IAF's airstrike-for-rocket-attack approach has done little to deter attacks on Israel's southern communities.

      Public Security Minister Yizhak Aharonovitch called this week for a large-scale Gaza operation to deal with the rocket threat.