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Ashdod Breathes Easier with Iron Dome

Southern city received its own anti-missile battery overnight as conflict with Gaza intensifies.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 1/20/2014, 11:05 AM

Iron Dome system
Iron Dome system
Flash 90

An Iron Dome anti-missile battery was deployed near the southern coastal city of Ashdod overnight Sunday, following an intensification of the conflict with the Gaza terror entity in recent days.

As reported earlier, many residents of Ashdod turned to Arutz Sheva at week's end to complain that the IDF has not seen fit to protect their city with an Iron Dome anti-missile battery.

Ashdod residents also scurried to their bomb shelters when the "Color Red" sirens sounded last week, but unlike the residents of Ashkelon, which is just a few kilometers closer to Gaza on the Mediterranean coast, did not have the protection of the Iron Dome system, in the event they were targeted. An Iron Dome battery intercepted five of six missiles fired at Ashkelon Thursday

Following the elimination of an Islamic Jihad terrorist by the Israel Air Force (IAF) Sunday, the Ashdod municipality decided to cancel studies Monday in all of the schools that are not fortified against missiles. Many parents were asked to collect their children from school in the early afternoon Sunday.

A resident said that his children are traumatized just by hearing that school has been cancelled Monday, and are already mentally preparing for the next round of missile fire. “They don't want to hear about alarms, and keep asking if Iron Dome has been deployed. They are extraordinarily up-to-date on the developments and are afraid. It's too bad that the government is not aware of these things.”

“We will not accept the targeting by terrorists of Israel, and we will act to cause damage to anyone that threatens the security of our citizens,” Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said Sunday.

Ya'alon stressed that the days of terrorists taking “free shots” at Israel were over. “We will not permit a return to the days when rocket attacks were a matter of routine. Anyone who tries this will pay the price. I would not recommend anyone in Gaza to try our determination to defend Israelis,” Ya'alon added.