The system is designed to intercept and destroy rockets and artillery shells fired from distances of 2.5 miles to 170 miles away and whose trajectory would take them to a populated area.
Israel is surrounded by countries who hate her. There is Lebanon on the north who has often fired rockets at her. Syria on the north and east is always an avowed enemy.
Jordan, also on the east, is not as violently opposed as some of the other countries. Then there is Egypt on the south who in the past has attacked Israel several times but presently is not threatening her.
Of course, there is Gaza on the west which has lobbed more than 10,000 rockets and artillery shells into Israel since 2007, saying “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it.”
Nonetheless, the Iron Dome is a marvelous system and is 90 percent effective in destroying rockets and artillery shells before they reach populated areas in Israel.
The Iron Dome became operational in early 2011 and was deployed near the biblical city of Beersheba. The next month the system successfully interrupted a Grad rocket launched from Gaza.
On Nov. 19, 2012, after 400 rockets had been intercepted earlier, reporter Mark Thompson wrote in a Time article that while these numbers were impossible to confirm the “lack of Israeli casualties suggests Iron Dome is the most effective, most tested missile shield the world has ever seen.”
The cost of the Iron Dome is quite expensive. On Aug. 4 of this year, President Obama signed a bill granting an additional $225 million dollars to expand the project, bringing the total of U.S. involvement in the effort since inception to nearly $1 billion. Besides that, Israel has spent multiple millions on the defense system.
The Iron Dome, named by an Israeli colonel and his wife, operates day and night, under adverse weather conditions, and can respond to multiple threats simultaneously.
Each launcher, containing 20 interceptors, is independently deployed and operated remotely via a secure wireless connection. Each launcher is capable of protecting a large urban area.
The cost of the interceptor missile used by the Iron Dome launchers is expensive — $20,000 or more each — and when many are fired during a barrage from the enemy, the cost is exorbitant.
However, Israel says the Iron Dome intercepts only rockets determined to be a threat, and that the lives saved and the strategic impact are worth the cost.
Where does all of this leave Israel — the Holy Land? (Israel frowns at the term Palestine, saying it is a fabrication of the press and the Arabs.) What does the Bible say about the permanence of Israel and their staying in the Holy Land?
We know that ultimately the Jews will live in peace in the Holy Land, for the promise is repeated numerous times in the Bible. When will this time come? In God’s time.
Will they ever be driven out of the Holy Land? It doesn’t seem so. The Word says they would return to the land twice and that has already happened. The first return was after the Babylonian captivity and the second was when they became a nation in 1948.
God promised the Holy Land to Abraham and repeated the promise to Isaac, Jacob, David, and others — and God does not lie.
(Column 4 of a 4-part series on the Holy Land)