Despite the image of a simple protective bubble, the Iron Dome in fact represents Israel's move toward a more active defense.
Fighting between Israel and Gaza intensified over the past week, with several deaths and injuries reported. The violence began when an Israeli airstrike killed the commander of a militant group involved with the abduction of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, marking Israel’s first offensive attack in months. In response, dozens of rockets hurtled from Gaza to southern Israel. As Israeli residents ran for cover, the country's new missile defense system kicked into high gear. After nearly six years of development and testing, the Iron Dome finally proved its mettle.