The Israel Defense Forces placed an Iron Dome anti-rocket battery in the Gush Dan region of central Israel for the first time on Monday as part of the IDF’s continued testing of the anti-rocket system. The army had planned to test the system’s functioning in central Israel a few weeks ago, but with the recent outbreak of rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, the batteries were deployed in the south to protect Israeli citizens there.
The IDF said that Iron Dome’s deployment in central Israel was strictly part of the system’s operational testing, which will continue in other areas throughout the country as part of a pre-planned yearly training schedule.
Iron Dome batteries have been tested in the north, in Haifa, as well as in southern Israel. This will be the first time the system undergoes testing in central Israel.
According to an IDF source, the goal of the training was to identify and mark the best places to place the system to optimize its success in neutralizing enemy rocket fire.
While the current placement of the system is only for training purposes, the IDF has not hidden the fact that terrorist organizations in Gaza, such as Hamas, possess rockets that can reach Gush Dan, including Tel Aviv.
The Israel Air Force, meanwhile, was preparing to receive a fourth Iron Dome battery in coming days and integrate it into its aerial defense alignment. IDF officials have expressed hope that the fourth battery would also provide protection for central Israel, including Gush Dan.
The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said on Monday, “The Iron Dome system is undergoing a process of operational absorption, within which the battery is deployed from time to time in different locations around the country.”