Analysis

Israel’s Missile Defense is Changing the Rules
An Iron Dome short-range missile defense system is pictured near the northern Israeli city of Haifa. The Iron Dome system is designed to intercept and destroy incoming short-range rockets and artillery shells. JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
March 7, 2013
| Security
| Middle East and North Africa
Summary
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Reports that Iran has sent some of its best engineers to help Islamist terrorists in the Gaza Strip improve their missile capabilities for renewed attacks on Israel have raised alarms. But Israelis can probably rest at ease. The rockets Hamas launched from Gaza last November helped Israel test and fine-tune its Iron Dome defense system and led to significant advances in Israel’s grand plan for a missile shield that will be able to stop all rockets and missiles that are headed its way.
Iranian technical expertise should not be ignored, but when systems such as the Iron Dome can work at optimum levels, Israeli war planners have learned that they can avoid making rash decisions that would lead to costly ground attacks on Gaza or other escalations. The Israelis have also learned how to streamline their acquisition system, persevere against missile defense critics, and publicize Iron Dome wartime exploits to reduce fears and anxiety levels among ordinary Israelis.
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