A key part of President Biden's pledge to expand defense aid to Israel is to bolster its vaunted Iron Dome air defense system. Israel has asked not only for interceptors but also additional Iron Dome batteries.
Hamas has launched nearly 7,000 rocket attacks on Israel since the start of this war, testing the limits of the Iron Dome missile defense system and its 90% protection rate.
"We are desperately in need still of those Iron Dome missile defenses, because we see exactly the terror that they can still unleash on us," said Israel Defense Forces spokesperson Fay Goldstein.
Scripps News had just sat down with Goldstein when the Iron Dome was engaged yet again. Missile alerts warned residents to head to shelter with a precise notice of one minute and 30 seconds to take cover. Booms followed from the sky overhead, indicating a successful interception.
"We just walked away from one of those missile fires, and we felt comfortable enough to walk away thanks to the Iron Dome," Goldstein said. "We would have heard and seen explosions if we didn't have the Iron Dome."
"Right now, the Iron Dome is one of the top lines of defense," Goldstein said. "We are very much thankful for that. That being said, we are still needing to strike those rocket launchers because they are still rockets. They are still missiles."
Israel is conducting hundreds of strikes a day, and not just to target missiles.
"We need to rid Gaza of Hamas and we need to make sure that we do that again from the top leaders to the bottom foot soldiers," Goldstein said. "That's our goal, however long and whatever, we were ready for it."
The IDF is hunting not just top commanders of Hamas' military wing but also the entire Nukhba unit, which led the Oct. 7 massacres.
SCRIPPS NEWS' JASON BELLINI: How far along are you guys in taking out [Hamas] leadership?
IDF SPOKESPERSON FAY GOLDSTEIN: Our focus is to go from the top brass, the ultimate face of evil, the mastermind behind Hamas terror, all the way to the bottom of those soldiers that broke through, kidnapped Israelis and massacred them. Our entire focus is the entire establishment of Hamas.
"Every strike that the IDF does is focused on intelligence, is focused on understanding where those leaders are, what they're doing, what they did when it came to the mastermind of the terror that they are unleashing and continue to unleash," Goldstein said. "So there is definitely a very intentional focus on who we are striking, why we are striking them and when we're striking."
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