Islamic Jihad’s Homegrown Rockets Are Being Barely Intercepted By Israel’s Iron Dome

Alap Naik Desai

The fight between Hamas' Islamic Jihad and Israel has been going for a long time. Majority of the fights have always been fought with foot soldiers and rebels using guns, hand-grenades and Molotov cocktails, but recently the fight appears to be taking place in the sky, where Israel's Iron Dome is intercepting homegrown rockets, but the interception rate is concerning.

The hostilities between Israel and Gaza are a fight between rockets and interceptors. Essentially, the sky appears lit up every few moments when Israel's Iron Dome is annihilating rockets launched from the Gaza strip. Disturbingly, rockets possessed by Hamas and its allies, like Islamic Jihad appear to be growing in strength and sophistication, but fortunately they are currently no match for Iron Dome, reported CNN.

On one hand Hamas and Islamic Jihad are proud of their steady technical achievements in building homegrown versions of rockets capable of hitting Tel Aviv and even the outskirts of Jerusalem. But on the other, the Israelis consider their Iron Dome antimissile system a battlefield-altering success, helping to protect the home front and buy time for either negotiations or a ground operation, reported NY Times.

Dispelling common assumptions, a major part of the Israeli military strategy is air power. Its jet fighters and drone are routinely raining bombs on suspected Hamas officials, headquarters, rocket factories, launchers and arms stores. But unfortunately, no matter how precise the air strike is, there will always be damage of a collateral nature. In fact the Palestinian Health Ministry has officially reported the death of at least 40 Palestinians in crowded Gaza.

For Israel, its Iron Dome has now become a very vital piece of war machinery that is protecting its home front from indigenous rockets that are being routinely fired from Gaza. In fact, their tactic clearly appears to diminish or deplete the stock of rockets the Gaza currently possesses. But, despite Iron Dome's claimed prowess, its success rate is unfortunately quite poor.

The Israeli military confirmed that by Wednesday, more than 200 rockets fired from Gaza had hit Israel. Only 53 of them have been successfully intercepted by the Iron Dome system. But majority of those that escaped the anti-missile system have hit in or near Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and even Hadera, 70 miles north of Gaza.

As far as interception technologies are concerned, the United States recently demonstrated a new variant that possess the power to intercept missiles at quite an early stage of their trajectory. Perhaps it is time for the U.S. to step in and defend its ally?

[Image Credit | Jack Guez/Agence France-Presse, Wikipedia, Jini/Xinhua Press/Corbis]