Archive for the ‘Grad-style’ Category

Hamas Relies on Black-Market Entrepreneurs, Some 50 Countries, Especially for Rockets

January 1, 2009

The black markts of the Middle East have been knows for centuries as the place to find women, drugs and just about anything else — for a price.

Today, Hamas in Gaza, like Hezbollah before this in Lebanon, uses black market ingenuity to find, procure and smuggle rockets, rocket parts, small arms, ammunition and other tools of their trade past watchful Israeli officials.

The tough t produce rocket parts may come from as far away as China.  But many parts are made in Iran or elsewhere in the Middle East using old Soviet or Chinese plans.

Today Hamas is using more of the imported Katyusha rockets, which have a longer range than the crude, homemade Qassam rockets it relied on in the past.  This accounts for the longer range rocket strikes Israel has been pointing out to the media — a key reason for this week’s Israeli action into Gaza.

Mark Mazzetti of The New York Times delved into this topic and his report is a good one….

China Made Gaza Rockets Used By Hamas


Israeli officials confirmed today that Hamas was firing 122mm Grad artillery rockets at southern Israeli communities. The rockets, which are manufactured in more than 50 countries and widely available on the black market, have hit targets several southern Israeli cities.

“These are the longest-range rockets that have been fired to date as far as we are concerned,” said Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.

Read the rest from The Times (UK):


China Made Gaza Rockets Used By Hamas

January 1, 2009

Made in China, provided through Iran and smuggled from Egypt into Gaza: that’s the unholy road of the Grad-model Katyusha rockets that were fired into Beersheba on Wednesday, December 31, 2008.

When the warhead explodes, much more than blast fragments emerge.  The warheads are surrounded twith metal balls like ball bearings or marbles.  These are anti-personnel weapons meant to rip open the human body; they are not meant to blow up buildings.

That’s the finding of Israeli Intelligence and the evidence is now being shared with other western groups for verification, Peace and Freedom has learned….

Hamas Relies on Black-Market Entrepreneurs, Especially for Rockets

Hamas rocket hits Israeli house

Above: Aftermath of Hamas rocket hitting an Israeli house


From The Jerusalem Post
January 1, 2009

The Chinese rockets have a range of 40 kilometers. They are very similar to the 122 mm Soviet-made Katyusha that was used extensively by Hizbullah during the Second Lebanon War and are slightly more sophisticated than an Iranian-made Grad-model Katyusha that is also in Hamas’s arsenal.

The four rockets that hit Beersheba this week were filled with metal balls that can scatter up to 100 meters from the impact site, officials said. These rockets have also been fired into Ashkelon and Ashdod.

The three countries that manufacture Grad-model Katyushas are China, Russia and Bulgaria.

Defense officials told The Jerusalem Post the rockets were smuggled into Gaza in the 12 days after Hamas blew a hole in the order wall between Gaza and Egypt on January 23.

“Huge quantities of weaponry were smuggled into Gaza then from above ground, including the Grad rockets,” an official said, adding that even after the border wall was sealed, Hamas continued to smuggle the long-range rockets into Gaza via tunnels under the Philadelphi Corridor.

From China, the rockets make several stops before reaching Gaza. In many cases, officials said, they are bought by Iran or Hizbullah and then transferred to Sinai.

In some instances, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) has learned of weapons that came from Yemen and Eritrea, were moved to Sudan, then north to Egypt, and finally smuggled into Gaza.

“This is a complicated smuggling system that involves many different people around the world,” one official said.

The Grad-model Katyushas, officials said, were packed with large quantities of ammonia and less-than-maximum explosives to increase their durability and lethality.

Last Thursday, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit told Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni that Cairo was not responsible for Hamas’s military buildup and that the long-range rockets in the group’s arsenal were not smuggled through the tunnels from Sinai.

Defense officials said Wednesday that Aboul Gheit was partially correct, in that some of the rockets did not come into Gaza through tunnels, but that they did enter the Strip from Sinai.