Israel’s Iron Dome Triggered by Machine-Gun Fire in Gaza Strip

March 26, 2018

< 1 min read

Sunday night’s incident in which the Iron Dome missile defense system was accidentally triggered in response to machine gun fire inside the Gaza Strip was not a major failure, said Brig.-Gen. (Res) Ilan Bitton, a former head of Israel’s Air Defense Command.

“The [Iron Dome] system has already been successfully applied in battle, so this is an isolated incident which should not be blown out of proportion,” Biton told Kan Bet Radio.

“When you’re in the control center and there is a scenario of rockets being fired, there’s no one there that can point out that it was just a machine gun bullet, as in all previous incidents, there were actually rockets being fired. I suppose this incident will be investigated and they will figure out what made the system think there were rockets this time,” he added.

Late Sunday night, sirens sounded throughout the Gaza belt area, with residents reporting sounds of explosions, as well as rocket sightings in the sky. More than 20 interception rockets were fired by the system.

The IDF later announced there had been no incoming rocket fire coming from Gaza, and that the Iron Dome system was set off by machine gunfire fired in the region. Hamas also said that it had not fired rockets at Israel.

Maj.-Gen. (res) Giora Eiland, the former head of Israel’s National Security Institute, said however that the incident was “something that should not happen.”

Eiland told Kan Bet that he hoped the lessons would be learned that the system recalibrated in order to avoid a repeat of the incident.

“This is the first time the Iron Dome has fired rockets without rockets being fired at us first,” he said.

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