As ground forces of the IDF prepare to enter Gaza, Israel’s Air Force, Navy and Security Agency (Shin Bet) intelligence agents continue to operate on other fronts.
Israeli civilians are taking a deep breath and continuing to carry on their daily affairs as much as humanly possible given the situation and the missiles being fired at their families and homes.
Gaza terrorist groups are competing to see who can launch the missile at Israel that flies the farthest, fastest. All are deeply frustrated by their failure to score a significant “hit,” according to military analysts.
Hamas has made a number of attempts to strike the Dimona nuclear reactor. Each time, the group’s newest acquisition, the Syrian-made M302 missile, has failed to deliver — instead, it was intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system.
The M302 as a range of 160 kilometers (100 miles) and carries a warhead weighing approximately 144 kilograms (318 pounds.) From Gaza, it can reach as far as Nahariya, north of Haifa, but it is not clear whether that is with or without explosives in the warhead.
Late Thursday Hamas claimed that it deployed another new missile in its arsenal: the Iranian-made Sajl — or “Sejjil” (‘baked clay’ in Persian) rocket. The group said that so far it has launched 10 of these longer-range missiles — but the claim makes no sense.
It may instead be part of the signature disinformation campaign that marks the intermediate part of a Hamas military campaign — that which includes boasting, threats, the use of human shields, misinformation and wild exaggerations.
The true “medium range” Iranian Sejjil-2 is a ballistic missile that weighs 21.5 tons and measures 18.2 meters in length, with a diameter of 1.25 – 1.50 meters. It is propelled by solid fuel and has an operational range of 2,000 kilometers, and allegedly is harder to detect by anti-missile systems, as it is covered with anti-radar material. The missile is also more efficient as it requires less amount of time for prelaunch preparations, according to a 2009 statement by Iran’s Press TV.
It is odd to think of Iran gifting such a powerful, valuable weapon to Hamas, when the entire length of the State of Israel is only 260 miles, or 418 kilometers. But if Hamas were to fire such a weapon, one has to wonder where it would land; probably not anywhere in the Jewish State. With a range of 2,000 kilometers, one wrong launch could land Hamas in very hot water with its patrons, and Israel’s hostile northern neighbors.
Meanwhile, here is a quick guide to the rest of the arsenal currently being held by Hamas and its allies in Gaza, courtesy of the IDF:
Hamas Short range (15-20 km) Over 1,000 units of self-produced rockets (15 km) Over 2,500 units of smuggled rockets (15 km) Approx. 200 units of self-produced Grad rockets (20 km) Approx. 200 units of smuggled Grad rockets (20 km) Medium range (up to 45 km) Approx. 200 units of self-produced improved Grad rockets (45 km) Approx. 1,000 units of smuggled improved Grad rockets (45 km) Medium-Long range (up to 80 km) Over 400 units of self-produced medium range rockets Several dozen of rockets (80 km) Long range (100-200 km) Tens of long-range rockets (100-200 km) In Total: Approximately 6,000 rockets
Palestinian Islamic Jihad Short range (15-20 km) Approx. 1,000 units of self-produced rockets (15 km) Approx. 1,000 units of smuggled rockets (15 km) Approx. 300 units of self-produced Grad rockets (20 km) Approx. 100 units of smuggled Grad rockets (20 km) Medium range (up to 45 km) Approx. 200 units of self-produced improved Grad rockets (45 km) Approx. 600 units of smuggled improved Grad rockets (45 km) Medium-Long range (up to 80 km) Over 100 units of self-produced medium range rockets Several medium-long range rockets (80 km) In Total: Approximately 5,500 rockets
Other Terror Organizations Short range (15-20 km) Hundreds of self-produced and smuggled rockets including Grad rockets (15 km) Medium range (up to 45 km) Dozens of self-produced and smuggled improved Grad rockets (45 km)