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Iron Dome battery moved to Haifa amid unrest in Syria

JTA

January 28, 2013 | 9:50 am

An Iron Dome launcher fires an interceptor rocket in the southern city of Ashdod, about an hour after a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas went into effect on Nov. 21. Photo by Amir Cohen/Reuters

An Iron Dome launcher fires an interceptor rocket in the southern city of Ashdod, about an hour after a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas went into effect on Nov. 21. Photo by Amir Cohen/Reuters

The Israeli military has deployed an Iron Dome missile defense system near Haifa, according to reports.

Two other batteries also reportedly were deployed in northern Israel in recent days, Ynet reported.

The move to the northern end of the country comes as concerns in Israel and around the world have increased that chemical weapons believed to be in Syria will fall into the hands of Hezbollah or Syrian Islamist rebels.

The Israel Defense Forces told The New York Times that the moving of Iron Dome batteries to northern Israel was a routine rotation.

On Sunday, Israel's Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom confirmed that Israel could launch a military strike on Syria if it appears that Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas or Syrian rebels have taken possession of Syrian chemical weapons.

Shalom confirmed to Army Radio that Netanyahu met last week on Election Day with the country's security chiefs to discuss the situation in Syria.

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