The statement said the Israel Army MBT was engaged in what was termed
"routine activity" in southern Gaza. The military did not identify the
Palestinian anti-tank missile but said its crew was tracked and struck in
"Shortly afterwards, IDF soldiers identified several terrorists in the
area and fired in their direction, identifying a hit," the statement said.
A military source later said the projectile fired toward the Merkava was
actually a rocket-propelled grenade. The source said the interception proved
that Trophy could protect the Merkava from other threats, including
anti-tank guided missiles.
Trophy, developed by Israel's state-owned Rafael Advanced Defense
Systems, was designed to detect, track and intercept incoming anti-tank
missiles. The APS was programmed to fire a projectile that could destroy the
incoming missile before reaching the MBT. Rafael said the United States has
completed an evaluation of Trophy.
In December, Hamas fired a Russian-origin AT-14 Kornet anti-tank
missile that penetrated the Merkava Mk-4. The Hamas operation sparked an
Army effort to install Trophy on all Merkavas deployed along the Gaza