How Israel's Iron Dome Works

PHOTO: In this July 9, 2014 file photo, an Iron Dome air defense system fires to intercept a rocket from the Gaza Strip in Tel Aviv, Israel.
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With the crisis in the Middle East escalating as Israel and Hamas continue to exchange missile fire, renewed attention has come to Israel's defense system, the Iron Dome.

The anti-missile defense system has been responsible for intercepting militant rockets targeted at Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, Israel's two largest cities.

As seen in video footage taken by ABC News, the Iron Dome intercepts missiles mid-air in a matter of seconds.

PHOTO: An Israeli missile is launched from the Iron Dome defence missile system in the southern Israeli city of Ashdod in response to a rocket launched from the nearby Palestinian Gaza Strip on November 18, 2012.
Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images
PHOTO: An Israeli missile is launched from the Iron Dome defence missile system in the southern Israeli city of Ashdod in response to a rocket launched from the nearby Palestinian Gaza Strip on November 18, 2012.

First, the system identifies incoming missiles and then determines whether their range and direction threatens a highly populated area, like a city. If the incoming missile is deemed a threat than Iron Dome operators launch a counter-missile. This missile will destroy the enemy missile mid-air.

PHOTO: Smoke trails are seen as an Iron Dome intercepts a rocket which was launched from Gaza, near the southern town of Sderot November 15, 2012.
Ronen Zvulun/Reuters
PHOTO: Smoke trails are seen as an Iron Dome intercepts a rocket which was launched from Gaza, near the southern town of Sderot November 15, 2012.

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