During Operation Protective Edge this summer, the worth of the Iron Dome system was proven, as it knocked down a majority of Hamas’ long-range missiles that were launched at Israel. These missiles, however, are not the danger for those Israelis who live near the Gaza border. Mortars are fired at their communities with much more frequency, and cannot be intercepted by Iron Dome. However, there is hope, as Israel’s i24 News reports that these residents will soon be alerted to incoming mortars:
Israel will install an alarm system to detect incoming mortar fire in southern border communities which border Gaza within the next three to six months reported Israel’s Channel 10 news on Sunday,
The alarm, which will not be able to intercept incoming shells, will give residents a five second warning to find shelter.
Israel’s Iron Dome system was able to intercept numerous longer-range rockets during this past summer’s 50-day conflict between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza.
During Operation Protective Edge mortar shells caused the most deaths, with 10 soldiers in one week, a number of Israeli civilians as well as Thai worker.
Four-year-old Daniel Tragerman was the youngest victim of the conflict after a mortar landed outside his home in kibbutz Nahal Oz on August 22nd.
Daniel, who was playing in a tent outside the family home, was killed by the impact of the mortar. His family said that they had only three seconds before they heard the siren and the blast.
“The siren startled all of us, it all happened so fast. You straight away know that this time it was not near the border fence or in open spaces, but on the other side of the wall,” said his father,Doron, at the funeral.
During the war, 70% of Israelis living in towns bordering the Gaza Strip abandoned their homes due to ongoing rocket and mortar attacks coming from the Hamas-ruled enclave.