Hamas Launches Rocket Attack on Israeli Position
Three Qassam rockets launched from inside the Gaza Strip this afternoon have hit Israeli positions at the northern edge of the strip. The rockets struck the “Erez” checkpoint, a heavily fortified Israeli facility, causing damage but injuring no one.
The Qassam rockets are self-produced by the Hamas Islamic movement inside the Palestinian Gaza strip. Their long range allows them to be fired from deep within Palestinian territory, giving their operators more safety, as shown by their launch against the Israeli target in broad daylight. The long range of the Qassam rocket also allows Hamas to target Israeli settlements and cities further away from Palestinian territory.
Meanwhile, in an interview with CBS that is scheduled to air in three days, top Hamas official Moussa Abu Marzook confirmed that his movement is working on even longer-range versions of the Qassam rockets, which will be able to strike targets some 10 kilometers (6 miles) away. Abu Marzook said: “We want to resist the occupation with these missiles,” and added “Are weapons only allowed for Israel and not the Palestinians?”
Israeli officials confirmed that the Erez facility had been hit by Qassam rockets. Israeli sappers examined the remains of the rockets and estimated the range of these weapons as four kilometers (2.5 miles), according to Israeli radio reports.
Top Israeli officials have expressed great apprehension over the past few months about the Hamas rocket artillery, which could easily bombard Israel’s international airport and main population centers from inside the Palestinian territory in the West Bank. Israeli Army chief Shaul Mofaz claimed just two weeks ago that Hamas had already deployed the Qassam rockets inside the West Bank.
First fired against an Israeli settlement in October 2001, the Qassam-1 rockets are believed to be based on a North Korean design smuggled into the Gaza Strip from Lebanon. (www.albawaba.com)