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August 30, 2014

Iron Dome knocks down 15 rockets simultaneously

 Incredible footage has emerged showing Israel's Iron Dome air defence system simultaneously shooting down 15 rockets fired by Palestinian militants. The video clip, which was uploaded to YouTube by the pro-Israel group 'Sin', was filmed in an unknown location close to the Israeli border with Gaza.

VIDEO CLIP URL : [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2aNNdEzs-Y ]

It is believed that the militants who fired the rockets were attempting to beat the Iron Dome by launching multiple missiles in one short burst in the hope that at least one may make it through.

Iron Dome has been regularly called into use during the recent seven-week-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict, intercepting roughly 90 per cent of the hundreds of rockets fired by Gaza-based militants - the vast majority of them aimed at densely populated areas of southern Israel.

The video clip begins with a scene of panic as Israeli citizens run for shelter while the terrifying sound of air raid sirens rings out in the air.

Several seconds later the familiar sight of multiple Qassam rockets emerge on the skyline - fired from inside Gaza by Palestinian militants affiliated with the Islamic organisation Hamas.

As the rockets enter air space directly above the amateur filmmaker - who appears to have used a mobile phone to shoot the footage - the explosive sound of reactive Iron Dome interceptor missiles being launched can be heard. Within seconds all 15 of the potentially deadly Qassam rockets are seen breaking up in mid-air as they are struck by missiles fired by the high-tech Israeli air defence system.

The Iron Dome has been used by Israel since 2011, having originally been developed to protect Israel from rockets fired by Lebanon's Hezbollah Islamist group. During the 2006 Second Lebanon War, approximately 4,000 Hezbollah-fired rockets landed in northern Israel - including on Haifa, the country's third largest city.

These rockets killed 44 Israeli citizens and forced a further 250,000 to flee their homes.
Partly funded by the U.S., Iron Dome was finally declared operational and initially deployed on 27 March 2011 near Beersheba. Within days the system was forced to contend with the first rockets fired from within the Gaza Strip by Hamas-affiliated militants.

Designed to shoot down short range rockets and artillery shells from the air from distances of 2.5 to 43 miles, the Iron Dome has since had to contend with thousands of rockets fired from the Palestinian territory, with the Israeli military estimating a success rate of roughly 90 per cent.

The Qassam rockets fired by Gaza-based fighters are basic steel artillery shells developed and deployed in 2001 by the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades - the military arm of Hamas.

In contrast to the highly expensive weapons used by many armed groups, the materials used in a Qassam rocket rarely cost more than £500 - allowing them to be produced and deployed quickly.

During the recent Israeli-Palestinian conflict it is been estimated that rockets have been fired from Gaza into southern Israel roughly every hour.

Militants typically fire several missiles in quick succession, in the hope that the barrage will confuse or overload the Iron Dome and at least one rocket will make it through.

Although the Iron Dome intercepts about 90 per cent of the rockets, those that do penetrate the system often strike densely populated areas, causing extensive property damage.

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