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Israel deploys 3rd rocket interceptor in north: report


09:22, February 07, 2013

JERUSALEM, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- The Israeli Air Force deployed a third battery of the Iron Dome anti-rocket defense system in northern Israel on Tuesday amid heightened tensions along the country's border with Syria, local media outlets reported Wednesday.

An army spokeswoman in Tel Aviv confirmed the reports, but declined to comment on the number of batteries currently deployed in the area.

"An Iron Dome battery is currently in the north as part of its operational deployment program, which includes changing locations throughout Israel from time to time," the spokeswoman told Xinhua on Wednesday.

The deployment, reportedly the largest to date in northern Israel, comes a week after an alleged Israeli air strike on a weapons convoy near the Lebanese border which carried advanced SA- 17 anti-aircraft missiles bound for Shi'ite militant group Hezbollah, according to local media.

The Syrian government, in an official statement, claimed that the strike targeted a military research facility in Jamarya, a suburb near Damascus.

Though Israel has not officially acknowledged involvement in the attack, Saeed Jalili, Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, warned during a visit to Damascus on Monday that "they will regret this aggression."

Israel, with generous U.S. funding, is widely believed to had invested nearly 1 billion U.S. dollars to date in the development and production of Iron Dome, a mobile system designed to intercept short-range rockets and artillery shells at distances of between 4 to 70 km.

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