Hamas wartime rockets missed US anti-Iranian missile radar near Beersheba

Following orders from Tehran, the Palestinian Hamas used the cover of the 22-day Gaza conflict to aim rockets at the American Forward-Based X-band Transportable (FBX-T) anti-missile radar system lodged at Israel’s big Nevatim air base east of the Negev capital Beersheba, DEBKA-Net-Weekly disclosed last week. Destruction of the FBX-T, which was installed last November to intercept incoming Iranian Shehab-3 ballistic missiles, would have crowned Hamas’ offensive with success.
Jan. 18, two days before joining Israel’s unilateral ceasefire, Hamas tried to hit the American facility with a salvo of 3 Grad rockets. They missed their aim, landing on empty ground west of Beersheba, without triggering the city’s siren. The windy conditions that day may have spoiled their aim.
Our military sources reveal that the American X-band radar, which can track the path of any missile fired in the Middle East, worked hard during Operation Cast Lead, feeding the Israeli command with accurate advance information on the missiles and rockets aimed from Gaza at southern Israel and their trajectories.
It also tracked the rockets fired at Nahariya and Kiryat Shemona from Lebanon and kept watch for possible missile action from Syria and Iran.
But the American radar facility at Nevatim also kept Washington abreast of Israel’s aerial, naval and missile activity in the course of the conflict. It was the first time the US knew what was going on in an Israel-Arab battle arena without recourse to outside electronic tracking devices.
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