An Israeli Iron Dome battery fires against a Palestinian missile attack on 9 July 2014 (Associated Press photo).
Almost one week into the latest fighting between Israel and Hamas, a single statistic underscores the nature of this conflict. So far, more than 150 Palestinians have died in Israeli air and missile attacks against military targets, while no Israelis have been killed by the hundreds of rockets fired from Gaza (and southern Lebanon) into the Jewish state.
Obviously, Israel enjoys a huge military advantage over Hamas; complete air dominance, a fleet of UAVs, real-time intelligence capabilities and tremendous firepower allow the IDF to strike terrorist targets with precision. Meanwhile, the Palestinians keep hoping that one of their rockets will land in a populated area and kill Israeli civilians, adding to the psychological toll in Sderot, Ashkelon, Beersheba and other communities that have been frequently targeted over the past fourteen years.
But the ability of terrorist rockets to inflict significant damage and casualties against Israel appears to be diminishing, thanks to the Iron Dome missile defense system. Over the past seven days, Hamas and other terror factions have launched upwards of 400 rockets against Israeli territory; Iron Dome has intercepted more than 70 deemed to be a threat against populated areas, a success rate of more than 90%.
Some are calling the system a "game changer." From the Associated Press:
"If not for the Iron Dome system, the entire military would have already been stuck in the Gaza Strip. It is already possible to reflect on the main lesson of Operation Protective Edge: we must not stop investing in the Iron Dome system," he wrote.