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Israel claims rocket defence hit

Israel has activated a new missile-defence system for the first time, and officials believe it successfully shot down an incoming Palestinian rocket.

Defence Minister Ehud Barak said the Iron Dome fired at a rocket launched from Gaza.

He said it appeared to have scored a direct hit, although officials are still waiting for final confirmation.

The home-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.

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