Israel deploys rocket shield to Eilat

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TEL AVIV. August 20. KAZINFORM The Israel Defense Force has deployed its Iron Dome anti-rocket defense system to the area of the port city of Eilat, which has come under rocket fire in recent days from inside Egypt, army representatives told RIA Novosti.

The basing of the Iron Dome installations is for technical reasons and not due to changing operational circumstances in the Eilat area, which is popular with tourists including large numbers of Russian visitors, an IDF servicewoman said.

"Iron Dome is currently being tested all across Israel and it is in this context that it is being based in Eilat," she said. Local press reports say the Iron Dome batteries are being matched to the topography of the local terrain.

The is the second Iron Dome deployment in Eilat. The first was in July.

Last week, fragments of two rockets were found near Eilat, Israel's most southerly city, which it is estimated were fired from Egypt. No one was injured in the attack, which local press reports attribute to Islamist radicals based in the Sinai peninsula.

Iron Dome has previously been deployed operationally only on the border with the Gaza Strip, where it has been used against Palestinian Kassam and Grad rockets. The Israeli military estimate the system has intercepted hundreds of incoming rockets fired at residential areas. The army currently has four batteries but hopes to deploy another two in the near future.

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