Israel is incurring tens of thousands of dollars in losses for each missile it uses to intercept Hamas rockets whose local manufacturing cost is way less than the cost of the Iron Dome’s interceptors, Israeli media reported on Monday.
Speaking to the Jerusalem Post newspaper, missile expert Uzi Rubin estimated the cost of the short-range Qassam rocket fired by Hamas to be somewhere between $300 to $800 each.
Rubin, an Israeli defense engineer, pointed out that Hamas’s best rockets are “relatively simply made” and “inexpensive.”
For his part, Tal Inbar, former chairman of the Fisher Institute’s space research center, estimated the cost of Iron Dome’s interceptors to be between $50,000 and $100,000 each.
Inbar said the cost of Hamas’s longer-range rockets is estimated to be in the low thousands of dollars per rocket, or approximately two to three times more expensive than the shorter-range ones.
The Israeli army said on Monday that Hamas and Islamic Jihad groups have fired 3,100 rockets from the Gaza Strip towards Israel since the beginning of the latest round of confrontations last week.
In an earlier statement, Defense Minister Benny Gantz said the Iron Dome missile defense system had recorded more than 1,000 interceptions since the start of the military operation in the Gaza Strip on May 10.
According to the Jerusalem Post, both Rubin and Inbar believed “Hamas had plenty more long-range rockets to fire on Tel Aviv and central Israel, with the proof being that at the tail end of every recent Gaza war, they were able to fire some rockets anywhere they wanted.”
At least 200 Palestinians have been killed, including 58 children and 34 women, in Israeli attacks in Gaza, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. More than 1,235 people have also been injured and tens of buildings destroyed or damaged in the Israeli offensive.
The recent tensions that started in East Jerusalem during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan spread to Gaza as tensions erupted between Israeli authorities and worshippers in the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.
Israel seized East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. It annexed the entire city in 1980 in a move never recognized by the international community.
British MP Under Fire
A Conservative Party member of the British parliament has been criticized because of a tweet in which he described pro-Palestinian protesters as “primitive.”
Michael Fabricant in his post, which also included a video that appears to be showing some protesters clashing with police, said: “These primitives are trying to bring to London what they do in the Middle East.”
The Hope not Hate, an anti-racism campaign group reacted to the post, which Fabricant later deleted, and urged the Conservative Party to suspend the MP, accusing him of “hateful racism that stirs up division.”
“The tense situation requires steady leadership from people who want to bring communities together, not hateful racism that stirs up division,” it said. “The Conservatives must suspend Michael Fabricant for this disgraceful comment.”
Thousands of people demonstrated in London and in other cities in the UK over the weekend, calling on the UK government and international society to intervene to stop Israel’s air raids that have killed almost 200 civilians in Gaza.
The director of British Future, a think tank, also reacted to the MP’s comment.
“Anybody who realizes that it is racist to hold British Jews responsible for Israeli policy should also be able to recognize the racism here in Michael Fabricant’s tweet,” Sunder Katwala, its director wrote on Twitter.