IDF Deploys Iron Dome System in Eilat After Rocket Attack

Battery positioned in southern city as part of tests across the country; Grad rocket fired at Eilat last Wednesday, causing no casualties or damage.

An Iron Dome anti-missile system battery was positioned Sunday outside Israels southernmost city of Eilat, only days after a Grad rockets was fired at the city.

On Friday, police located the remains of the Grad rocket, after two days of searches that had commenced Wednesday evening, when two powerful blasts rocked the Red Sea resort city.

Deploying the battery of rocket interceptors near Eilat is part of a process of testing the active defense system all over the country. Last week, for example, an Iron Dome battery was positioned near Safed.

IDF Spokesman said: The Iron Dome system is in a process of testing, part of which involves positioning a battery from time to time in various locations around the country. As part of this program, the [system] is being deployed for testing near Eilat.

An Iron Dome battery had been station near Eilat for a few days around a month ago.

Eilat is not connected to the Color Red early warning system that operates in the northern Negev. The municipality has been the prime opponent of installing the Color Red system in Eilat, because it fears that false alarms would scare aware tourists, and tourism is the mainstay of the citys economy.

With that, after an earlier rocket attack aimed at the city in April, Mayor Meir Yitzhak Halevi said the possibility of equipping Eilat with an Iron Dome battery was being discussed, and in July a battery was indeed deployed there for the first time.

An Iron Dome missile being launched.
IIlan Assayag
Two Iron Dome systems deployed in a field.
Eliahu Hershkovitz