An Iron Dome anti-missile battery was placed for the first time in the Sharon region north of Tel Aviv, the Israeli Air Force said.
The deployment near the coastal city of Netanya was part of a normal operational procedure for testing and preparing the rocket defense system, the IAF said. No specific threat was announced.
The Sharon region, the coastal plain south of Haifa and north of Tel Aviv, is not considered to be in range of rocket attacks from Gaza or Israel’s southern border, but is within the sights of Lebanon’s Hezbollah, which targeted Hadera during the Second Lebanon War in 2006.
Israel last week deployed a sixth Iron Dome battery, the first to be manned exclusively by reserves. The anti-missile system is a keystone in Israel’s air defense array and successfully shot down hundreds of short- and medium-range missiles shot at cities during a mini-war with Gaza in November.
Also last week, an Iron Dome battery successfully defended the southern city of Eilat from a Grad rocket launched from Sinai. Majlis Shura Al-Majahedin Fi Aknaf Bayt Al-Maqdis, an Islamic terrorist group operating in Sinai and in the Gaza Strip, took responsibility for the attack.
The al-Qaeda linked group had been targeted days before by an alleged Israeli drone strike in Sinai, conducted in conjunction with the Egyptians, which killed four and destroyed a rocket launcher.