Grad missile expolsing near Netivot, Daniel Hagbi, Sderot Media Center
The Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip has been cautious in firing its Iranian-origin rockets, a report said.
The Institute for the Study of War asserted that Hamas appeared to be saving its arsenal of BM-21 Grad rockets in the intermittent wars with Israel. The Washington based institute said Hamas preferred to use the far less effective Kassam-class missile for the nearly daily strikes on Israel from the Gaza Strip.
“Hamas appears to prioritize Kassam rockets to conduct ongoing, low intensity harassing fire against Israel, thereby saving the limited quantity Grad rockets for specific targets or events, such as responding to IDF airstrikes in Gaza,” the report, titled “Threat and Response: Israeli Missile Defense,” said.
The report, released on Aug. 27, quoted Hamas officials as saying that the Islamist regime refrained from firing Grads for more than a year until June 2012. Hamas decided to fire the Grads toward cities throughout southern Israel in response to the killing of leading insurgents.
Hamas receives its Grad rockets from Iran, the report said. The rocket,
said to have a range of more than 20 kilometers and payload of 20 kilograms,
has been produced by Iran as well as Syria. “Though there are fewer Grad rockets than Kassam rockets, they are longer-range, higher-payload, and more accurate,” the report said. “While Hamas operatives fire Kassam rockets into Israel on a regular basis, Grad rocket attacks are less prevalent.” Iran was said to have developed four enhanced variants of Grad called Arash and believed supplied to Hizbullah in Lebanon. Arash-1 contained a range of 21.5 kilometers, while the -4 model could reach targets at a distance of 40 kilometers. “The Noor and the Haseb variants are also from this series,” the report said. “The Katyusha series of rockets are fired primarily from southern Lebanon into Israel, and Hizbullah operatives have more of them than any other rocket.