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Iron Dome missile almost knocked out Israeli F-15 during recent Gaza conflict

Illustrative photo of an Israeli F-15 fighter jet. (Tsahi Ben-Ami/Flash90)
Illustrative photo of an Israeli F-15 fighter jet. (Tsahi Ben-Ami/Flash90)

An Iron Dome missile was fired at and nearly hit an Israeli fighter jet during May’s conflict between Israel and the Hamas terror group, the Israel Air Force acknowledges.

Channel 12 says an interceptor missile fired at a rocket from Gaza accidentally locked onto an F-15 plane flying over the Strip. The errant interceptor was detonated by Iron Dome operators moments before hitting the jet, it adds. The incident was so close that shrapnel from the interceptor hit the jet, reports say.

A Channel 13 report, by contrast, says the interceptor was fired deliberately at the F-15, having misidentified it as a rocket heading into Israel. It was “a miracle” that nobody was hurt, it adds.

Both TV reports say the IAF confirmed the incident took place, noted that it took place at the height of the conflict during heavy barrages of rockets fired at Israel from Gaza, and said lessons were being learned from the incident.

Illustrative: The Iron dome anti-missile system fires an interceptor missile at rockets shot from the Gaza Strip toward Ashkelon, on May 19, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

During Operation Guardian of the Walls — the IDF’s name for the 11 days of hostilities that began on May 10, after Hamas fired rockets at Jerusalem amid escalating Israeli-Palestinian tensions over the city — Hamas and other terror groups fired more than 4,300 rockets toward Israel while the Israel Defense Forces responded with roughly 1,500 airstrikes against targets in Gaza. The military also intercepted a number of drones launched toward Israel by the Gaza-ruling terror group.

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