Dramatic footage: Boeing 737 navigates Iron Dome missile intercept in Israel amid war against Hamas (WATCH)
Video captures Boeing 737 approaching Israel during an Iron Dome missile interception, prompting concerns amidst intensified conflict with Hamas and showcasing the efficacy and challenges of the defence system.
A video capturing a Boeing 737 aircraft approaching Israel at the exact moment the Iron Dome air defence system intercepted incoming missiles amid ongoing war with Hamas is gaining attention on social media. The clip, shared on various platforms, including X (formerly Twitter), by multiple users, including Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, shows the aircraft flying perilously close to the bright explosions of Israel's defensive missiles near Tel Aviv's airport.
According to Gerashchenko, the flight in question was El Al LY5108, traveling from Tbilisi, Georgia, to Tel Aviv, Israel. Flight radar data revealed that the plane landed approximately 15 minutes behind schedule. Despite the video's circulation, neither the airport nor the airline has issued an official statement regarding the incident.
The aircraft reached Tel Aviv during a night marked by intense aerial strikes in the region. According to reports from Time Magazine and other sources, Hamas had fired around 7,000 rockets at Israel since the October 7 attacks.
Understanding the Iron Dome system
The Iron Dome missile defence system was activated by Israel in 2011 to intercept incoming rocket attacks, primarily from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. Over the past decade, it has successfully intercepted thousands of rockets aimed at Israel.
The Iron Dome comprises multiple batteries equipped with radar systems designed to detect short-range rocket threats. Each battery is outfitted with three or four launchers, 20 missiles, and radar equipment, as detailed by Raytheon, the US defence corporation that collaborated with Israel's Rafael Defence Systems in developing the system.
When the radar identifies an approaching rocket, the system tracks its trajectory and launches an intercepting missile. The missile is fired only if the incoming rocket is heading toward a populated area. Otherwise, the rocket is allowed to land harmlessly, thereby conserving interceptor missiles.
According to Rafael, the Iron Dome boasts an interception success rate of approximately 90 percent. However, the ongoing conflict with Hamas has presented its most challenging test to date. The system can become overwhelmed if there is a sustained barrage of rockets, potentially allowing some to breach its defences.