The first Iron Dome anti-rocket system, deployed on itsf first 'operational evaluation' near Beer Sheva in the Israeli Negev desert. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense Update.,
March 27, 2011 by Noam Eshel DEFENSE UPDATE
Reluctant to embark on a major retaliatory campaign against Gaza, the Israel Air Force was directed to pre-deploy the ‘Iron Dome’ counter-rocket, artillery and mortar (C-RAM) defense system, despite the military reluctance for such move, before the unit is fully prepared. The current fielding is defined as an ‘operational evaluation’ prior to becoming ‘fully operational capable’. Israeli decision makers are aware that deploying this defensive capability could encourage Palestinian attempts to challenge the system, in an effort to demoralize the Israeli population (Similar to the Palestinian attempts to hit Israel’s hetherto ‘undefeated’ Merkava tanks in the Gaza strip in the early 2000s, which led to destroying three merkava tanks by Palestinian ‘mega IEDs’.) Prime minister netanyahu announced tha the defensive capability alone will not be sufficient and an effective defense requires a combination of offensive, defensive means maintaining effective deterrance, strength and resolve of the population and government’ However, if the Palestinians will cease their attacks at this point, the deployment could achieve its purpuse in stemming the current escalation without excessive use of force.