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Iron Dome Tel Aviv Deployment Delayed

The IDF has put off deployment of the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system for a drill in the greater Tel Aviv area.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 2/22/2012, 11:09 AM

IDF soldier stands near part of Iron Dome system
IDF soldier stands near part of Iron Dome system
Flash 90

The IDF has put off deployment of the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system for a military drill in the greater Tel Aviv area.

The planned deployment of the battery, which was to include a routine systems check, was temporarily suspended on Wednesday, an army spokesperson said. The battery was originally to be moved from its position in the south for the exercise.

However, the rocket, mortar and missile attacks that have rained down upon the western Negev and Be'er Sheva area since last week led the IDF to reconsider its plans, Army Radio reported.

On Tuesday night, Palestinian Authority terrorists in Gaza shelled the Eshkol Regional Council district, sending residents racing for shelters. No one was physically injured, and no property damage was reported, but a number of people were traumatized.

Although the Color Red rocket alert siren provides that region with a 15-second warning in which to run for cover from rocket attacks, it generally is not activated by incoming mortar shells. As a result, residents are often caught by surprise in such attacks.

Over the Sabbath, three Grad Katyusha rockets exploded in the Be'er Sheva area, including one that landed close to the suburban town of Omer, slightly northeast of the city. 

There were also a number of other, shorter-range Qassam rocket attacks in the western Negev as well, shattering the calm of the traditional weekly Jewish Sabbath.