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“The performance up to now has been almost flawless,” Mr. Rubin said, adding that the perception could change quickly in the event of casualties.

Critics noted that each intercept costs about $100,000, arguing that the cost could be prohibitive if Israel were fighting a full-fledged war.

In the current round, Islamic Jihad, the second largest militant group in Gaza, has taken the initiative.

Islamic Jihad has maintained close ties to its sole sponsor, Iran, while Hamas has drifted away from its longtime patron in disagreements over Syria’s brutal crackdown.

Iran has punished Hamas for refusing to side with Syrian President Bashar Assad, including by cutting funding to it.