Following on from yesterday's posting about the Iron Dome intercepting 5 rockets directed at Ashkelon, I've done a quick analysis of the economics of what happened (and bear in mind that this is now a regular event - and that the Israeli response is always the same so you can think of this multipled many times):
- Palestinians launch 7 rockets at Ashkelon: depending on the range, these cost between $800 and $6000 - so let's say an average of $3000 (paid for of course by the EU taxpayer).
- Israel knocks out 5 of the rockets using the Iron Dome: total cost (excluding operational costs) $500,000 (based on $50,000 cost for each interceptor fired and assuming 10 were fired).
- The IAF then launches 4 guided missiles (cost $200,000 each) to destroy some empty wooden sheds in Gaza fields when no people are near (cost of each shed about $50).
- Total cost of the operation to the Palestinians (by which I really mean EU taxpayers) is $21,200 with no degradation to the Palestinian quality of life.
- Total cost to Israel of missiles alone is $1.3million. But, of course, the lives of at least one million Israelis are also seriously disrupted (I have reported previously on this negative aspect of relying on the Iron Dome; see also here). For example, all schools in the South of Israel are shut down during such attacks; moreover, today the Jerusalem Post reports that all unfortified schools in the Ashdod area will be permanently closed down (note that schools in all areas south of Ashdod are, I believe, already fortified, but until recently Ashdod was considered 'out of range' of Gaza missiles - it is just 18 miles south of Tel Aviv).
7 October 2014 update: The cost of a single interceptor missile is apparently $100,000 not $50,000.