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Israel’s Iron Dome Isn’t Working: A Weapons Expert’s Warning

A missile is launched by an Iron Dome battery on July 13 in the southern Israeli city of Ashdod
A missile is launched by an Iron Dome battery on July 13 in the southern Israeli city of AshdodPhotograph by David Buimovitch/AFP via Getty Images

“We’re not trying to bash Iron Dome,” says weapons scientist Richard Lloyd, author of a research paper that calls into question the effectiveness of Israel’s now famous rocket-defense system. “We’re trying to help Iron Dome. The way to help Iron Dome is to identify some of its problems.”

Representatives for the Israel Defense Forces claim that Iron Dome has been about 90 percent effective in knocking down Hamas missiles fired from Gaza. Lloyd and a handful of other outside experts, including Theodore Postol of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, have been challenging the IDF’s assertions on Iron Dome’s success rate since at least 2012.