'Iconic' Iron Dome Photo Shows Israeli Missiles Countering Rockets From Gaza

A photograph of Israel's Iron Dome defense system about to intercept rockets fired from the Gaza Strip on Friday has gone viral on social media.

The image—captured by Agence France-Presse (AFP) photographer Anas Baba—reportedly depicts multiple rockets fired from Gaza's Beit Lahia and Iron Dome projectiles launched to neutralize them on Friday, creating a constellation of missiles in the night sky above an urban landscape.

Baba's photo was described on social media as "iconic," "remarkable" and also "horrifying."

"What's sure to be an iconic photo by AFP's Anas Baba. Hamas rockets from Gaza on the right, Israeli Iron Dome interceptors on the left. Beautiful and horrifying," wrote Judah Ari Gross, military correspondent for the Times of Israel, on Twitter.

"Remarkable photo from AFP's Anas Baba. Israel's 'Iron Dome' defence system about to counter rockets fired from Gaza," tweeted Barry Malone, executive producer at Al Jazeera's The Stream.

What's sure to be an iconic photo by AFP's Anas Baba.
Hamas rockets from Gaza on the right, Israeli Iron Dome interceptors on the left.

Beautiful and horrifying. pic.twitter.com/PTXZqWH4no

— Judah Ari Gross (@JudahAriGross) May 14, 2021

On Thursday, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced "air and ground troops" were "attacking in the Gaza Strip," but later denied Israeli forces had entered the territory. The IDF said it had struck over 650 targets in the densely populated Palestinian enclave, which the army said included rocket launch sites, over 100 Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad officials, in addition to 10 "attack tunnels."

On the same day, Hamas unveiled the Ayyash 250 rocket, which it said could reach any place in Israel. Thursday also saw the IDF and Lebanese officials confirming three rockets were launched from Lebanon towards Israel. The rockets landed in the Mediterranean Sea, and it remains unclear who fired them.

On Friday, the Palestinian Ministry of Health reported 119 Palestinians were killed and 830 people were wounded "as a result of the ongoing Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip." The IDF said seven Israeli civilians were killed and over 523 injured by rockets fired from Gaza this week.

Remarkable photo from AFP's Anas Baba.

Israel's 'Iron Dome' defence system about to counter rockets fired from Gaza. pic.twitter.com/BSj7MGektL

— Barry Malone (@malonebarry) May 14, 2021

The latest escalation in violence began as a legal battle over attempts to evict several Palestinian families from buildings in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem. Israeli officials describe it as a private real estate dispute between Jewish owners and Palestinian tenants or squatters that is being resolved in the Israeli courts. Palestinian leaders and their supporters around the world view the expected evictions as a symbol of the wider Israeli strategy of building Jewish settlements on land Palestinians want for a state.

World leaders have called for a de-escalation of hostilities in the region, with U.S. President Joe Biden saying he has not seen "a significant overreaction" regarding Israel's offensive in Gaza.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the United Kingdom was "sad to see what is happening and the cycle of violence that now seems to be taking place," while French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said he has asked the Paris police prefect to ban a planned pro-Palestinian demonstration.

Israel's Iron Dome intercepts rockets from Gaza
Rockets are seen in the night sky fired towards Israel from Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip on May 14, 2021. Anas Baba/AFP via Getty Images