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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Gaza terror groups up the weapons ante

From The Times of Israel:
Four soldiers were injured when an anti-tank missile fired from the Gaza Strip struck and penetrated an Israeli army jeep patrolling some 200 meters inside the Israeli border with Gaza on Saturday evening.

Two of the four were in serious condition and were undergoing surgery on Saturday night.

Retaliatory strikes by the IDF against terrorists in the Gaza Strip left at least four Palestinians killed and two dozen wounded.

Later Saturday, a rocket barrage fired from Gaza pounded southern Israel; residents were ordered to stay within 15 seconds of sealed rooms or other protected areas. No major damage or injuries were reported. Red Alert sirens sounded as far north as the cities of Ashdod and Gan Yavne after long-range Grad rockets were fired in their direction.

The Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, the armed wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), claimed responsibility for the anti-tank missile attack shortly afterwards, saying it fired two Kornet missiles at the Israeli vehicle.

The IDF and Israeli media reports were skeptical about the PFLP’s claim, and instead posited that the likely perpetrator of the attack was Islamic Jihad.
Kornet missiles have been used rarely but most infamously in the attack against a schoolbus in April 2011, killing a teenager. A 9K111 Fagot (AT-4 Spigot) anti-tank system also targeted a jeep in March 2011.

Islamic Jihad graphic bragging about rocket fire
Notably, Iran now builds its own clone of the Kornet-E missile.

Islamic Jihad claims another first, saying that in the barrage of missiles targeting Israeli communities that they shot, for the first time, something called a KS8 missile aimed at the community of Nir Yitzhak.

Last month, a shoulder-mounted surface to air missile was shot by Hamas towards an Israeli aircraft.

There is no doubt that more sophisticated weapons are being smuggled into Gaza, but using them is an escalation that the IDF cannot ignore. The only reason that they haven't used them much so far is because of fear of massive Israeli response, and unfortunately that fear is the only path to have Israeli Negev communities live near-normal lives.