For the first time, Israel’s Arrow air defense system shot down a ballistic missile, which was likely fired from Yemen. The missile was intercepted while heading toward Israel’s port city of Eilat. It marked the first operational use of the Arrow system since the Hamas attack on October 7. The missile was launched in Israel’s direction but was shot down before it could hit its intended target.
On October 30, a ballistic missile fired from Yemen by Iran-backed Houthis was headed for the Israeli coastal city of Eilat, prompting Israel to deploy its Arrow missile defense system to intercept it. Israeli officials have accused the Houthis of launching a similar missile last week, and the Houthi armed organization has claimed credit for the missile.
A US naval vessel shot down drones and missiles that were supposed to attack a Houthi stronghold on October 28. Since Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, additional groups funded by Iran have occasionally engaged in the war, including attempted strikes from the Houthis in Yemen and deadly confrontations between Lebanese Hezbollah and Israeli soldiers along Israel’s northern border.
Arrow 3, the current iteration of the Arrow system, was recently sold to Germany as that country looked for ways to deal with security concerns in the wake of the conflict in Ukraine. In light of the success of the Arrow 3 system, Israel has declared that development of the Arrow 4 system will begin in 2021.
The Arrow’s main Israeli contractor, Israel Aerospace Industries, has lauded the IDF for their successful interception.
Jerusalem is under attack from many angles by air as Israel expands its costly offensive into Gaza. Although precise numbers are unavailable, it is claimed that more than 8,000 missiles have been fired from Gaza.
Numerous anti-tank missiles have been fired from Lebanon by Hezbollah, while multiple rockets have been fired from Syria by various armed factions. Even though Israel is over a thousand miles away, the Houthis in Yemen have proven they can launch long-range attacks.