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Missile defense set in Israel's south

Aug. 20, 2012 at 1:08 PM

JERUSALEM, Aug. 20 (UPI) -- Israeli forces deployed an Iron Dome anti-missile battery in southern Israel as part of a test of the country's national defense, the military said.

The Iron Dome missile defense system is designed to intercept incoming threats from around 40 miles away. The military last week deployed the system to Safed, a city near the northern border with Lebanon.

A spokesman for the Israeli military was quoted by newspaper Haaretz as saying the missile system was positioned near Eilat, a Red Sea port.

"The Iron Dome system is in a process of testing, part of which involves positioning a battery from time to time in various locations around the country," the spokesman said.

"As part of this program, the (system) is being deployed for testing near Eilat."

Israeli authorities found the remnants of rockets near Eilat last week.

In early August, unknown gunmen in the nearly Sinai Peninsula killed 16 Egyptian troops before fleeing across the border into Israel. Parts of Egypt, notably the Sinai Peninsula, have been lawless since the country's revolution in 2011.

From Lebanon, Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah denounced the Sinai attack but said it was the Israelis who would benefit the most from the lawlessness.

He noted that "the No. 1 threat for Israel in the world is Hezbollah."

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