An Iron Dome air defense system fires to intercept a rocket from the Gaza Strip in Tel Aviv July 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Dan Balilty)
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Israel's Iron Dome interceptor has shot down some 90 percent of Palestinian rockets it engaged during this week's surge of Gaza fighting, up from the 85 percent rate in the previous mini-war of 2012, Israeli and U.S. officials said Thursday.Israel said that of more than 320 rockets launched from the Gaza Strip, at least 72 were intercepted while most of the rest fell harmlessly in open areas.Iron Dome was initially billed as providing city-sized coverage against Katyusha-style rockets with ranges of between 5 km and 70 km.Addressing a Tel Aviv conference hosted by Israel Defense magazine Monday, Avi Serfaty, deputy general manager of Iron Dome radar manufacturer Elta, said the system could now provide defense at distances of up to 150 km, potentially allowing more versatile use of batteries deployed nationwide.
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