Witness The Sheer Protective Power Of The Iron Dome From Way Too Close

Israel's Iron Dome system has proven effective so far, with only one casualty suffered, despite Hamas launching more than 1,000 rockets at Israeli civilian population centers. Most of what we've seen of Iron Dome has looked like little more than flashes in the sky, but up close it's incredible.


As it stands, Iron Dome has intercepted approximately 200 missiles, but not without fault. Some rockets have managed to breach the system (which launches two interceptors per rocket), causing injuries, and Israel has suffered its first fatality in this latest conflict. And other times, the system looks a bit, well, tipsy:

Maybe that's understandable, since it's a bit like trying to hit a bullet with another bullet, and rockets from Gaza are launched at a pace of one every six minutes. But it is unsurprising, since questions of its actual effectiveness have arisen.

For a brief moment, earlier this morning, it looked as if Iron Dome could finally stand down, as an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire came into effect. Israel agreed to abide by it, but Hamas didn't, saying they'd "never been consulted," according to the Washington Post, and sent more than 50 rockets flying:

A senior Hamas leader, Sami Abu Zuhri, accused Egypt's military-backed government of collaborating with Israel to spring the proposal on the militant Palestinian Islamist group without warning. He called the initiative "unacceptable" and said Egypt is not a fair mediator because its government is deeply hostile toward Hamas.


The lopsided ceasefire lasted only six hours, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu getting a bit biblical about the whole thing after it was over:

"When there is no cease-fire, our answer is fire."

Already, more than 190 Palestinians are dead as the result of Israeli strikes, including civilians.


How much of that is due to errant fire or human shields, we don't know. And a definite answer will probably never be proven, as both sides tend to claim wildly disparate events.



I guess I just don't believe the hype around the "Iron Dome". The Atlantic has run a piece that offers some questions about the claims being made. My guess is that it probably hits or deflects about 10-20 percent of what it shoots for — and that's a guess based on the article in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.