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Israel Deploys Iron Dome System Near Eilat

The Israeli army has placed an Iron Dome air defense system battery by the Red Sea resort of Eilat near the border with Egypt.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 7/13/2012, 2:51 PM

Iron Dome in action (file)
Iron Dome in action (file)
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The Israeli army has placed an Iron Dome air defence system battery by the Red Sea resort of Eilat near the border with Egypt, a statement from the military said on Thursday.

"An Iron Dome Active Missile Defence System battery is currently deployed near Eilat as part of its operational deployment program, which includes changing the locations of the batteries from time to time," the statement read.

The Iron Dome missile defense system uses radar-guided missiles to intercept Katyusha-type rockets with ranges of 5-70 km (3-45 miles) in mid-air.

The deployment comes amid increasing tensions along the border and uncertainty regarding the political climate in Egypt following the election of  the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Mursi.

An Israeli defence official, speaking on condition of anonymity, stressed that the deployment "was not for operational ends, rather for preparation and acquaintance with the territory and calibration."

The official said the system has been in place since Monday, and that it was the first time the Iron Dome system has been deployed near the southern resort.