Palestine-based Hamas militants launched a series of attacks on Israel, targeting towns near the Gaza Strip through land, air, and sea. According to reports, Palestinian fighters infiltrated Israeli towns using boats, pick-up trucks, and hand gliders. In a recorded message, Hamas commander Mohammad Deif claimed responsibility for launching 5,000 rockets into Israel. Deif announced the start of “Operation Al-Aqsa Flood” and stated that the initial strike targeted enemy positions, airports, and military fortifications with more than 5,000 missiles and shells.
In addition to the rocket attacks, Palestinian fighters also carried out ground assaults, spreading across Israeli towns, killing civilians, and taking Israeli people and forces hostage. Israeli Army spokesman Richard Hecht confirmed that it was a combined ground raid, executed through paragliders, sea, and land. He stated that their forces were currently engaged in battle in various locations around the Gaza Strip.
A significant number of rockets targeted at Israel were intercepted by the Israeli military’s anti-rocket defense system, known as Iron Dome. However, several rockets managed to hit Israeli towns during the attacks. The Iron Dome consists of truck-towed units that fire radar-guided missiles to counter short-range threats such as rockets, mortars, and drones while they are in mid-air.
The Iron Dome does not shoot down every rocket on Israel’s radar. Instead, it uses artificial intelligence-based technology to determine whether an incoming rocket is a potential threat and will hit a populated area. If it is not deemed a threat, the Iron Dome ignores the rocket and allows it to enter Israel’s airspace, as reported by Reuters.
The original range of the Iron Dome was between 4 and 70 kilometers to provide coverage for cities. However, there have been reports of its expansion. It is estimated that the cost to launch an Iron Dome interceptor ranges between $50,000 and $100,000.
According to BBC, militant groups aim to overwhelm the Iron Dome system by testing its limitations.
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