Photo Credit: Wikimedia / Public Domain / US Dept. of Defense
Components of the Russian Strela-2 anti-aircraft (surface-to-air) missile system, also referred to as "MANPADS" -- Man-portable air defense systems.

Gaza terrorists fired Russian-made anti-aircraft missiles at Israeli Air Force combat planes as they carried out retaliatory air strikes shortly after midnight Tuesday morning.

IDF Destroys Hamas Weapons Factory After Gaza Rocket Attack


The Israeli air strikes were carried out to retaliate for rocket fire aimed hours earlier at southern Jewish communities.

Arab sources said Gaza terrorists “launched a number of anti-aircraft missiles” during the raid on Hamas sites in southern Gaza.

“The missile aimed at a fighter jet in southern Gaza was a Russian Strela,” Hosein Mortada wrote in a tweet. “For the first time, the resistance uses a shoulder-fired missile against enemy aircraft.”

Hamas has fired Russian-made 9K32 Strela-2 surface-to-air missiles at Israeli aircraft over Gaza on several occasions during this calendar year, although all were evaded, or missed entirely.

“This is a fairly new development that until recently, was a rare occurrence,” journalist Alex Tiffin noted.

These same anti-aircraft missiles are being used by Russian forces to defend its navy personnel in Ukraine as they continue their invasion of that country.

Reporter Hallel Bitton Rosen says the IDF confirmed that a rocket was fired at Israeli aircraft. But the attempt failed to hit any aircraft. While Doron Kadosh reported that the IDF said the anti-aircraft rocket was an old model that doesn’t reach the altitude of the Israeli aircrafts. Kadosh also reported that from the perspective of the Israeli defense apparatus, the event is over and both sides want quiet.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.