Hamas is setting its sights on a much larger target when it comes to attacking Israel. A Hamas official, on condition of anonymity, told the AFP that in all future confrontations with Israel, Hamas will begin to target Israeli cities in the far north.
“Hamas managed to take the battle to the heart of the Zionist entity after developing its rocket system, succeeding where many Arab armies had failed,” a masked Hamas commander of the armed Al-Qassam Brigades told AFP.
The comments were made during a ceremony in Gaza City where Hamas unveiled a new statue of its life-size M-75 rocket. The M-75 has a range of 75 kilometers (47 miles) and was used in Israel’s last confrontation with Hamas (Operation Pillar of Defense) when it was shot towards Tel Aviv and the Jerusalem area..
Hamas affectionately refers to the M-75 as an “improvised Qassam.” The “M” is the Qassam Brigade’s way of honoring its founder, Ibrahim al-Maqadma, who was killed in 2003 by Israel. The number 75 indicates the rocket’s full range.
The ceremony was in conjunction with Israel’s unveiling of all the weapons seized aboard the Klos-C, an Iranian filled arms ship destined for Gaza.
So far, the IDF has inventoried 40 M-302 rockets, which have a range of 90 to 160 km; 181 mortar shells of 122 mm caliber; and approximately 400,000 7.62 caliber bullets. The weapons were intended to travel through Sudan and make its way to terrorists in the Gaza Strip.
Israeli Prime Minister said that the interception of the shipment stopped lethal, advanced weaponry from reaching the hands of terrorists. He also said that the operation served to “expose the true face of Iran, which was behind it.”
Netanyahu said Iran was “brazenly lying” in denying all connection to the arms shipment. The M-302 has the capacity to strike anywhere in Israel when fired from Gaza.
Speaking to the press yesterday in Eilat, Netanyahu said that the shipment was meant “for fatal purposes against Israel to hurt Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and even Haifa. The goal was to have rained down on the heads of Israel’s citizens.”
“My message today is simple; those engaged in self-deception must waken from their slumber, we cannot allow Iran to continue building nuclear weapons,” the prime minister said. “Today, Israel exposed Iran’s attempts against its people. Tomorrow, the whole world could be involved.”