Ashdod Mayor Yehiel Lasri said: "As far as we are aware the system was taken for calibration. We were told we would get the system back in the coming days." The IDF cited technical problems when trying to explain why the rockets were not intercepted.
Escalation in south:
- 1 killed in rocket attack on Ashkelon
The Home Front Command's South District Commander, Col. Doron Mor Yosef said: "The system was deployed hurriedly in light of the events and it took time before it could become operational in the relevant regions."
IDF Spokesman Brigadier-General Yoav Mordechai said it was "a technical issue and not a manpower problem. Both batteries are now operational."
Deputy Ashkelon Mayor, Amram Ben-David was disappointed the Iron Dome battery was taken from the city. "I don't think a city this big should rely on miracles. The army must redeploy the system here. I also think we should response proportionately, in a language they understand. Each rocket should see an entire street in Gaza destroyed."
The IDF explained that the two batteries cannot provide full coverage even in the areas where they are deployed. A third Iron Dome battery is being developed. The development of additional batteries meant to become operational is uncertain in light of plans to cut NIS 2.5 billion from the defense budget.
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