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Israeli Army keeps Iron Dome defense system in southern Israel

GAZA, Feb 22 (KUNA) -- The Israeli Army decided to keep the 'Iron Dome' mobile air defense system of short-range missiles interception in southern Israel. This is in anticipation of deterioration of the security situation in Gaza Strip, Radio Israel quoted a spokesman of the Army as saying on Wednesday morning.
This defense system was to be transferred to Tel Aviv, specifically 'Gush Dan' in central Israel, as a part of army training to test the performance of the Dome in this densely populated region, he stated.
Southern Israel was attacked last week by various missiles launched from Gaza Strip, and the security services in Israel are taking all needed measures to face those continuous attacks, the spokesman affirmed.
A large number of antimissile batteries will be deployed across the country and especially in the most frequently attacked areas, to enhance readiness for emergencies, Israeli Army announced.
Last April, Israel announced success of the Iron Dome in facing attacks by Grad rockets launched from the Strip towards Beer Sheva or Be'er Al-Sabe', Ashkelon, and Ashdod.
This army system has three platforms, distributed in Ashkelon, Beer Sheva, and Haifa in northern Israel. Israel announced a desire to set up 10 to 15 additional firing units as part of the Iron Dome.
Each missile interception comes to a cost of USD 40,000, compared to just hundreds of dollars for each Palestinian missile launched.
The Iron Dome is a mobile air defense system in development by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems designed to intercept short-range rockets and artillery shells. The system was created as a defensive countermeasure to the rocket threat against Israel's civilian population on its northern and southern borders. It is designed to intercept very short-range threats up to 70 kilometers in all-weather situations.(end) mzt.lb KUNA 221302 Feb 12NNNN