Israelis enjoying themselves on the slopes of the Mount Hermon ski resort in the Golan Heights were startled on Sunday afternoon to witness an Iranian missile heading their way. Had it not been intercepted by the Iron Dome missile-defense system, many innocent vacationers, as well as residents in the area, would have been killed.
The surface-to-surface projectile, fired by the Revolutionary Guards Corps Quds Force in Syria, did not cause the skiers to pack up their gear and run for shelter and hot chocolate, however. After filming the scene on phones and helmet cams, they picked up where they left off. For most Israelis, the rain of enemy rockets is not nearly as novel as mounds of fresh snow.
Disappointment was high, then, when the IDF announced that the popular site, adjacent to the Syrian and Lebanese borders, would be closed on Monday. The IDF was already planning the retaliatory strikes that it carried out late Sunday night against Iranian bases and soldiers stationed near Damascus — a mere 30 miles from Mount Hermon.
On Tuesday morning, the IDF reopened the ski resort to the public, just as a joint US-Israel test of the advanced Arrow 3 missile defense system — designed to intercept long-range ballistic missiles — was executed successfully off the Mediterranean coast.