Patriot Missile Battery
Patriot Missile Battery IDF/Flash 90

A Patriot missile battery was deployed near Haifa on Friday as Israel prepared to usher in the Passover holiday.

Patriot missiles are designed to intercept medium range missiles. The last time a Patriot missile batter was deployed near Haifa was during the 2006 Lebanon War.

The move came just days after two Grad rockets were fired at Israel’s southern town of Eilat from the Sinai Peninsula. That attack led IDF commanders to place the military on its highest state of alert for the duration of the holiday.

In recent weeks, the IAF has deployed the "Iron Dome" anti-missile system in Gush Dan in order to test its communication systems with additional batteries are located in the south.

Last month, it was reported Defense Minister Ehud Barak pushed for the accelerated procurement and deployment of Israel’s multi-layered anti-missile system.

It is "necessary to ensure that the systems are deployed in the shortest possible time in order to provide all citizens the protection they deserve against the threat of rockets and missiles, from north to south," Barak said.

His remarks came after a dramatic exchange of fire in early March during which terrorists in Gaza fired over 200 rockets at Israel’s southern town over a four day period.

The Iron Dome system is designed to intercept short range missiles, the Patriot system is designed to intercept medium range missiles, while the Arrow missile system is designed to intercept heavier long-range missiles.

Israel is also in the process of developing the Magic Wand anti-missile system, which fills a similar niche as the Patriot system.

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