Iron Dome anti-missile system
Iron Dome anti-missile systemIDF Spokesman

The Iron Dome system has intercepted 90 percent of missile attacks on urban centers during the latest rocket bombardment from Gaza.

The expensive systems were inaugurated last year amid controversy over its worth. A primitive Kassam rocket costs terrorists only a few hundred dollars while each Iron Dome anti-missile missile costs $50,000.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu stated Saturday night, “We will continue to improve home front defense including by means of additional Iron Dome systems, the effectiveness of which was shown again over the weekend."

The Iron Dome system intercepted about 90 percent of the rockets fired at Be’er Sheva, Ashdod and Ashkelon, including three on Sunday morning.

Despite the rocket barrage, Israel kept open the Erez Crossing for passengers and employees of international organizations operating in Gaza. Kerem Shalom was open for the delivery of 200 truckloads to Gaza residents.

Its deployment this past weekend appears to have defeated Hamas, at least for the time being. The terrorist organization has been talking with the new regime in Egypt for another ceasefire after failing to inflict mass casualties or property damage on Israel.

The problem with the Iron Dome is its cost and the lack of enough systems to defend all of Israel. The United States is providing funds to Israel to buy more of the made-in-Israel systems, each one of which costs more than $100 million.

The Iron Dome has been able to defend Israel’s three most populous southern cities, but if Hamas unleashes longer-range missiles that can reach Rehovot, Kiryat Gat and Kiryat Malachi, closer to metropolitan Tel Aviv, the IDF would lack enough systems to cover everyone. Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Sunday morning that expanding the system should be a national emergency project.

In addition to the defensive action of deploying the Iron Dome, the IDF also has taken the offensive against terrorists.

It targeted two members of the Popular Resistance Committee terror organization on Friday. The squad was responsible for planning a combined terror attack that was to take place via the Sinai Peninsula and the Israel-Egypt border.

In response to the ensuing rocket and missile bombardment from Gaza, the Israel Air Force targeted several weapons manufacturing facilitates and terrorist cells preparing to launch missiles.