Israel uses anti-rocket system for first time

May have shot down incoming rocket

JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israel's defense minister says the military has activated a new missile-defense system for the first time, and officials believe it successfully shot down an incoming Palestinian rocket.

Ehud Barak said the Iron Dome fired at a rocket launched from Gaza. He said it appeared to have scored a direct hit, though officials were still waiting for final confirmation.

The Israel-developed Iron Dome system has raised hopes in Israel that the army can find a solution to halt years of Palestinian rocket fire.

Israel deployed the first Iron Dome battery just a few weeks ago as tensions with Gaza militants were rising. Officials have warned the technology is young, and the system will not fully protect Israeli cities.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
APTE-04-04-11 0922EDT

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