The Israeli Air Force (IAF) has deployed a third battery of the Iron Dome rocket defence system outside Ashdod, Israel, to protect against rockets fired from the Gaza Strip.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said the deployment forms part of the national emergency plan announced several weeks ago.

Israel plans to deploy a fourth battery by the end of this year and a total of nine within the next two years.

The Iron Dome batteries will “revamp the security of Israeli residents,” Barak added.

Israel has already stationed two other batteries at Ashkelon and Be’er Sheva, which have successfully intercepted a few dozen Gazan rockets during the recent escalation.

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