ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 142

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IDF: 9,500 rockets fired at Israel since Oct. 7, including 3,000 in 1st hours of onslaught

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

Iron Dome air defense system fires to intercept a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, in the southern coastal city of Ashkelon, October 19, 2023. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)
Iron Dome air defense system fires to intercept a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, in the southern coastal city of Ashkelon, October 19, 2023. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)

The Israel Defense Forces releases long-awaited data on the activity of the military’s air defenses since the war began on October 7.

It also says that currently, Israel has the “largest deployment of air defense batteries ever.”

The IDF says that since the beginning of the war, some 9,500 rockets and mortars, as well as dozens of drones, have been fired at Israel, mostly from the Gaza Strip.

Some 900 rockets were launched from within civilian sites, including mosques, schools, hospitals and cultural centers. Around 12% of the rockets fell short inside the Gaza Strip, according to the IDF data.

Some 2,000 projectiles have been intercepted by the IDF’s air defense systems — the short-range Iron Dome, medium-range David’s Sling and Patriot, and long-range Arrow.

Many rockets landed in open areas, while some hit civilian sites, causing casualties. The IDF does not provide an interception rate, but the Iron Dome has previously been reported to have an estimated 95% success rate of downing rockets heading for populated areas.

During the first four hours of Hamas’s shock onslaught on southern Israel on October 7, some 3,000 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip at Israel, according to the IDF data. For comparison, during the entire 2014 Gaza War, which lasted 50 days, some 4,000 rockets were fired in total.

The IDF says that since the ground operation began, it has identified “a significant decrease” in the amount of rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.

It says that for the first time ever, all of Israel’s air defenses are active at the same time.

“The air defense array is deployed in the most extensive way ever, and carries out interceptions from Mount Dov in the north to the Red Sea in the south,” the IDF says.

The IDF attributes the success of the array to “deep cooperation” with Israel’s defense industries, as well as the United States, the latter of which it says is “a force multiplier in this war.”

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