Ashkelon: Israel`s Iron Dome
short-range missile defence system on Thursday intercepted a rocket
fired from Gaza for the first time, over the city of Ashkelon,
a news agency correspondent said.
A military source confirmed the rocket had been
brought down by the unique multi-million-dollar system, which
came into operation on March 27, the first time a short-range
interceptor has been deployed anywhere.
As the rocket came in from Gaza, the interceptor
missile streaked up into the sky to hit it with the two trails
converging in an explosion, said the correspondent.
A military source said this was the first time
that Iron Dome had hit a rocket in an actual combat operation.
It was not immediately clear what kind of rocket it
The rocket fire from Gaza came after Palestinian
militants in Gaza fired an anti-tank rocket at an Israeli
school bus, critically wounding a teenager. Later militants
fired dozens of mortars and rockets into Israel.
Israel responded with air raids and tank shells,
killing one Palestinian and wounding 25
The first Iron Dome battery was deployed outside
Beersheva, just days after the southern desert city was hit by
several Grad rockets fired from Gaza.
Ashkelon, which has a population of some 113,000, has
also recently come under attack from Grads, which have a range
of up to 50 kilometres (30 miles).
The defence system, the first of its kind in the world
and still at the experimental stage, is not yet able to
provide complete protection against the hundreds of rockets
fired from Gaza into southern Israel, officials have said.