An IDF probe revealed that the direct hit on a Rehovot apartment building Thursday evening was the result of a technical malfunction of the Iron Dome system. In a press briefing, IDF Spokesperson Brigadier General Daniel Hagari explained that “there was a barrage that was not intercepted by the Iron Dome and it hit the building. We understand that there was a technical malfunction so that the ground-to-air missile was launched but did not hit its target.”
One woman, Inga Avramian, 82, was killed and 13 others were injured Thursday from a direct hit by a rocket on a four-story building on Smilansky Street in Rehovot.
The building sustained heavy damage and the Rehovot fire brigade said there was a “real fear” of its collapse. Commander of the Home Front Command, Major General Rafi Milo, said that the apartment had an old, inactive bomb shelter that was being used for storage, which is why the tenants did not go in when the siren was heard.
876 rockets were launched into Israel since the start of Operation Shield and Arrow; 163, or one out of every five rockets fell in Gaza territory; 260 were intercepted, with an interception rate of a little better than 91%.
United Hatzalah Rehovot branch head Yoni Rottenberg reported: “It was a very difficult scene with a lot of destruction. Unfortunately, the death of one of the injured was pronounced at the scene as a result of the rocket hit. In addition, we provided initial treatment to eight people who sustained moderate and light injuries. United Hatzalah’s Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit also treated numerous people for emotional shock.”
An employee of the Rehovot municipality who entered the impacted building told Kan 11 News: “I saw scenes that I would not wish on anyone – great chaos, smoke, great panic, cries from every house. It is still unclear where the missile landed. I saw a pile of people; I don’t know who is dead and who is alive. I got severe anxiety, I felt that I was unable to help them out of my panic.”
Israel has been relying on the Iron Dome system as a means of not having to take decisive steps against its violent neighbors in Gaza who have sworn to destroy it. Since its invention in 2011, the Iron Dome system has been allowing Israel to contain the occasional rocket attack that didn’t result in the loss of life, and support the Gazan economy by letting life continue undisturbed there, including letting 10,000 plus Gazan workers cross the border into Israel every day.
No other sane country on the planet––including Ukraine––would have tolerated such an absurd modus vivendi. It’s time for the Netanyahu government to do what it takes to inoculate Gaza once and for all, rather than continue to rely on the magic cure of Iron Dome.
Incidentally, at $30,000 a pop, this magic don’t come cheap.