Iron Dome engineers donate award to resilience center

Inventors donate prize money to resilience center in the South to help residents cope with shock and tension.

The eight inventors behind the anti-rocket Iron Dome system were recently awarded the prestigious Israel Defense Prize for 2012. Instead of splitting the $9,930 prize money, the engineers donated it to the Shaar HaNegev Regional Council Resilience Center.

Iron Dome is the world’s first operational system that can intercept short-range rockets. It took three years to develop. The system became operational in 2011 and has an 80 percent success rate.

And though the Iron Dome has improved life for residents near the Gaza border, the population still suffers from trauma and stress. The Shaar Hanegev Regional Council’s Resilience Center provides therapy for these trauma victims.

A social worker told reporters that more than 400 members of the Shaar HaNegev community have already been treated at the three-year-old Resilience Center. She also said children tend to show their trauma through bed-wetting, nightmares and fear of being alone.

“We owe this prize to residents of the south,” said Yossi Druker, the head of the air defense directorate at Rafael.

Meanwhile, seven countries have expressed interest in buying the Iron Dome system.

“The interest comes from countries with possible zones of conflict that are similar to those that Israel has… The Americans expressed interest in the system to use in Iraq and Afghanistan, where their bases are exposed to rocket fire,” said Druker.

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About Viva Sarah Press

Viva Sarah Press is an associate editor and writer at ISRAEL21c. She has extensive experience in reporting/editing in the print, online and broadcast fields. She has jumped out of a plane, ducked rockets and been attacked by a baboon all in the name of a good story. Her work has been published by international media outlets including Israel Television, CNN, Reuters, The Jerusalem Post and Time Out.