Tel Aviv: Israeli forces for the first time successfully launched an Arrow 3 interceptor operationally on Thursday evening, the Israeli Defence Ministry confirmed.

An interceptor missile effectively downed a target launched towards Israel from the Red Sea region, according to a ministry statement. It marked the advanced aerial defence system's first operational interception since deployment in 2017.

Israel Defense Forces Spokesman Brigadier General Daniel Hagari said on Thursday night that "the target did not cross into Israeli territory."

Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen claimed responsibility for the launch in a post on X, formerly called Twitter. A statement said the Houthis "launched a batch of ballistic missiles at various sensitive targets of the Israeli entity ... including military targets in the Umm al-Rashrash area," referring to Eilat.

The Arrow 3 is one of the most advanced air- and missile-defence systems in the world, designed to intercept long-range Exo-atmospheric ballistic missiles.

The system, manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries, was jointly developed by the Israeli Missile Defence Organization and the US Missile Defence Agency.

Later on Thursday evening, a Patriot missile interceptor battery in the south intercepted another "suspicious target" before it crossed into Israeli territory, the IDF said.

Israel has bolstered its naval presence in the Red Sea area following repeated missile and drone attacks from Yemen.

The IDF said that missile boats were deployed "in accordance with the assessment of the situation, and as part of the increased defence efforts in the region."

On October 31, the Arrow 2 system for the first time intercepted a surface-to-surface missile fired from the Red Sea area.