Israel’s military has determined that Hamas was targeting the Iron Dome missile and rocket defense system.
Officials said the military assessed that Hamas and its militia allies were concerned over the effectiveness of Iron Dome, reported to have an interception rate of more than 80 percent. They said Hamas could send squads or individuals to sabotage the batteries.
“We believe there will be operations against Iron Dome in the near future,” an official said.
On Jan. 30, Israeli soldiers shot and injured an Israeli Arab who sought to infiltrate an Iron Dome site. The military said the unidentified man, ignoring calls to halt, approached a battery outside of the southern port of Eilat.
In July 2013, the Israel Air Force deployed an Iron Dome battery outside Eilat to stop missile and rocket strikes from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. Officials said the attacks stemmed from orders by Hamas to Al Qaida-aligned squads in southern Sinai.
“Hamas thought the rocket strikes would create strategic damage by driving away tourism and shipping from Eilat,” the official said. “Instead, Israel showed that the rocket threat could be neutralized.”