- The Israel Defense Forces said its Iron Dome antimissile system was 86% effective during a Hamas bombardment of 690 rockets on Saturday.
- The 39 rockets that did get through killed four people in Israel. Hamas claimed to have overwhelmed the aerial defense system by the sheer number of rockets fired.
- But the 86% success rate is not far below its recent average of 90%, suggesting that Hamas’ tactics had a relatively minor effect.
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Israel’s missile-defense system – the Iron Dome – blocked 86% of a Hamas rocket bombardment on Saturday, according to figures from the Israeli military.
Spokespeople for the group claimed the strikes as a victory that managed to disrupt the Iron Dome system, which has managed to dramatically reduce the effectiveness of Hamas rocket attacks since it was deployed in 2011.
The Israel Defense Forces published the following statistics about Saturday’s strikes:
- 690 rockets were fired toward Israel.
- 410, almost two-thirds of the total, hit uninhabited areas and were not engaged by the Iron Dome.
- 279 rockets were engaged by the Iron Dome. 240 of these – 86% – were successfully intercepted.
- 39 – about 14% – made it through and caused the four deaths.
In a statement on social media, the Hamas spokesman Abu Obeida said the group had “succeeded in overcoming the so-called Iron Dome by adopting the tactic of firing dozens of missiles in one single burst.”
“The high intensity of fire and the great destructive ability of the missiles that were introduced by [Hamas fighters] succeeded in causing great losses and destruction to the enemy,” he added.
Although the 39 successful rocket strikes caused a lot of destruction, the Hamas tactic of mass firing appears to have only reduced the effectiveness of the dome by a few percentage points.
According to figures cited by The Jerusalem Post, the Iron Dome has been operating at a 90% success rate since 2014, which was up from a previous rate of 75%.
According to experts monitoring missile activity in the Levant, Hamas has acquired a large number of poor-quality missiles, which has allowed it to let loose large flurries on Israel.
“It’s quantity and not quality,” Boaz Ganor, the director of the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism, told The Washington Post.
“When it’s not a precise missile, it’s quite easy to prepare a rocket if you don’t really care where it’s going to fall,” he added.
The violence came as Hamas representatives were in Egypt discussing under mediation how to resurrect a tested truce between Israel and Palestine.
How would you respond if 700 rockets were fired at you by your neighbors?
This is what we did: pic.twitter.com/s9wJyLx5Pl
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) May 6, 2019
Twenty-seven Palestinians and four Israelis were killed as a result of Saturday’s exchange, the deadliest moment in the ongoing conflict since 2014.