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Ex-Israel colonel warns Iron Dome is not reliable defence system

A recently located Iron Dome battary can be seen near the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon outside the Gaza Strip June 7, 2015 [Amir Cohen / Reuters]
A recently located Iron Dome battery can be seen near the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon outside the Gaza Strip June 7, 2015 [Amir Cohen / Reuters]

Yossi Langotsky, retired colonel of the Israeli occupation army, has warned that the Iron Dome defence system is not reliable, pointing to previous wars on Gaza which have proven the failure of the system in repelling Palestinian rockets.

Online newspaper Rai Al-Youm reported Langotsky writing to the Israeli Hebrew newspaper Maariv, saying that Israel should not depend on one defence system in any future war because the rockets would be able to cause harm to strategic Israeli facilities.

Langotsky, a former adviser on technological safety to the defence minister, said the Iron Dome will only afford partial and limited protection against Hamas and Lebanon's Hezbollah's rockets in any future war.

The Iron Dome, Israeli military systems which intercept missiles - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

The Iron Dome, Israeli military systems which intercept missiles – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

He noted that the Iron Dome has several restrictions, including its interception of short-distance rockets because interception takes place above civil areas, as well as its inability to intercept long-range ballistic rockets.

Each Iron Dome rocket costs Israel about $100,000, he said, with two rockets often needed to intercept a Palestinian missile, leaving Tel Aviv forced to store a large number of its defence equipment.

"This needs billions of US dollars; thus, the army will not be able to deploy the Iron Dome unless for a limited period and producing new rockets will take a long time," he said.

He argued that Israel should not have built its strategic defence depending on one technology. From the beginning, he said, Israel should have built its defence strategy on two or more technologies.

The fully mobile system carries ten kilogrammes of explosives and can intercept an incoming projectile from four to 70 kilometres away.

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