Residents in Ashkelon reported Thursday seeing Israel’s new Iron Dome defense system intercept a Grad rocket fired towards the southern city from the Gaza Strip. Eyewitnesses told YNET they saw the rocket explode in midair and realized that the system had intercepted its first rocket.
Moshe Ben Hemo, a resident of Ashkelon, said, “I was in the street and I heard a strange sound, like someone pushing the gas pedal of a car. Then I saw the rocket fly through the air and explode. Immediately I realized that it was Iron Dome, that’s what has been said here. He added that the rocket alert had not been set off. “The rocket was apparently supposed to explode in Ashkelon. In any case I’m glad the system works,” he said.
After hitting a student bus traveling through Shaar Hanegev Regional Council Thursday, critically wounding a 16-year old boy and lightly injuring the driver, terrorists in Gaza fired more than 15 rockets and mortar shells at Israel. No further injuries were reported.
The IDF immediately began bombing targets in Gaza in response to the onslaught. Palestinian medics said a 50-year old man was killed in the air strikes and a number of other people injured, including a child.
Ashkelon’s Iron Dome system was set up just Monday, with soldiers running extensive tests to make sure it was functioning properly. Another system was set up earlier in Beersheba.
The defense establishment decided to place the system earlier than planned due to the recent escalation of violence in the south. It has already been set up in Haifa, and in the coming weeks officials plan to put it in place in central Israel as well. source – YNET