Palestinian Rockets Reach Further into Israel

(Los Angeles Times) Batsheva Sobelman - A fresh round of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip sent Israelis scurrying for bomb shelters as far as Tel-Aviv, 40 miles away Wednesday morning, the second day of Israel's military offensive on the Hamas-controlled Gaza strip. Hamas claimed responsibility for firing a volley of rockets intercepted before hitting Tel Aviv, as other rockets landed throughout central Israel, shutting down main traffic arteries and causing concern for air traffic. Israel pounded Gaza overnight by dozens of airstrikes against 160 targets, including 120 concealed long-range rocket launchers, Hamas facilities and command positions, Israeli army officials said. The military offensive came as plans were made to deploy a third infantry brigade along the Gaza border and continued drafting of army reservists. 72 miles to Hadera Increasingly, rockets fired from Gaza appear more advanced and with greater range, reaching further into Israel than ever before. One rocket Tuesday night struck the city of Hadera, about 72 miles into Israel. It landed on a residential street but caused no injuries. The area has been targeted in the past but by Hizballah rockets from the opposite direction. Uzi Rubin, former director of Israel's Missile Defense Organization and a researcher at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, said that Hamas had improved its arsenal of rockets since Israel's previous military operation in the Gaza Strip in November 2012. "During the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood in neighboring Egypt, relations between the two were good and allowed free use of smuggling tunnels for weaponry, machinery, components and raw materials," Rubin said. "Egypt has since shunned Hamas and shut down the smuggling tunnels." M-320 Missile According to Israeli army spokesman Peter Lerner, the rocket that struck Hadera was an M-302, similar to those found on the Klos-C, a ship intercepted by the Israeli Navy in March in the Red Sea 621 miles from Israeli shores. Among the weaponry found on board were 40 rockets of this type with a range of up to nearly 100 miles. Manufactured in Syria and shipped by Iran, the rockets were earmarked for the Gaza strip, according to Israel. Although that particular shipment was intercepted, Hamas is believed to have several dozens of these rockets. Some versions of the M-302 have a range of up to 124 miles with a 385-pound warhead. "Moderate" Fatah Also Firing Rockets - Khaled Abu Toameh

2014-07-09 00:00:00

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