In a new, dangerous development, Hamas has just demonstrated on Friday that it possesses longer range rockets capable of reaching targets in northern Israel.
That’s precisely what Israel’s military and media are acknowledging after a long range rocket launched from the Gaza Strip was intercepted over the north by the David’s Sling medium-range air defense system.
It constitutes only the second known time in several years that Hamas has used its Ayyash 250 rocket to reach faraway targets. The launch had set off sirens in northern Israel.
According to The Jerusalem Post:
Rocket sirens sounded in northern Israel near Safed and east of Haifa on Friday afternoon, with Hamas’s al-Qassam Brigades claiming that it had fired an “Ayyash 250” rocket toward Safed.
The IDF confirmed that one rocket fired from the Gaza Strip was intercepted over Haifa.
Shortly after the rocket fire, Israel’s fire and rescue service reported it was working to contain a fire that had broken out in an open field near Kiryat Ata.
And according to Middle East and security analyst Michael Horowitz, “The Ayyash 250 is named after Yahya Ayyash, a senior Hamas bombmaker, with the number 250 referring to its range. It was first used in 2021 to fire against the Ramon airport near Eilat.”
It is widely believed that generally Hamas rockets don’t have more than a 160km reach. But a Hamas spokesman recently boasted to CNN:
“We have local factories for everything, for rockets with ranges of 250 km, for 160 km, 80km, and 10 km. We have factories for mortars and their shells. … We have factories for Kalashnikovs (rifles) and their bullets. We’re manufacturing the bullets with permission from the Russians. We’re building it in Gaza,” Ali Baraka, head of Hamas National Relations Abroad, is quoted as saying.
Hmmmmm debatable – to the north, yes. But if you want to take Hamas word for facts they said they targeted Ramon Intl. Airport in 2021. These distances are actually comparable in distance depending on where in Gaza they were launched from. https://t.co/7jUmuZEsn6
— Aurora Intel (@AuroraIntel) October 13, 2023
Hamas observers have said that the Washington-designated terror group gets most of its weapons externally via underground tunnels, likely from US adversaries like Iran.