Israel: 'Iron Dome' Has Taken Out 53 Rockets

But 200+ have gotten through, new Hamas rockets reach Israeli heartland

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 10, 2014 2:26 AM CDT | Updated Jul 10, 2014 7:49 AM CDT

(Newser) – As Israel's Gaza offensive enters its third day, the nation says its Iron Dome missile defense system has thwarted more than a quarter of the wide variety of rockets being fired from Gaza—but while 53 have been stopped, more than 200 have gotten through, landing as far away as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Israel says Hamas has amassed a large stockpile of smuggled and homemade rockets, including Syrian-made M-302 rockets with a range of around 100 miles, the New York Times finds. Israel believes the M-302s, one of which reached the Israeli town of Hadera 68 miles away in the deepest-ever rocket strike from Gaza, were supplied by Iran, USA Today reports.

But while the M-302s are big and capable of striking the Israeli heartland with payloads of up to 320 pounds, they are still inaccurate. "The fact is that these are never going to be precise enough for the warhead to really matter all that much, unless it hits a target out of almost sheer accident," an expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies tells Foreign Policy. Israel, meanwhile, says it has now hit more than 550 targets in Gaza. Palestinian officials say at least 61 people have been killed in Gaza, with one strike early this morning killing eight members of a family, including five children, Reuters reports.

Israeli soldiers drive an armored personnel carrier to a position near the Gaza border today.   (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
An Iron Dome air defense system fires to intercept a rocket from the Gaza Strip in Tel Aviv, Israel, yesterday.   (AP Photo/Dan Balilty)
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