The IDF Home Front Command is preparing for the possibility that Hamas will fire missiles up to a range of 80 kilometers from the Gaza Strip in the event of a future conflict with Israel, The Jerusalem Post has learned.
Photo: Sderot Media Center file
The preparations are being carried out on several different levels within the IDF, with a focus on preparing regional council members and municipality officials within the range – including Tel Aviv and Ramat Gan – for the possibility of missile and rocket attacks in their communities.
During Operation Cast Lead, which began December 27, 2008, Hamas fired rockets to a range of around 40 km., hitting Ashdod and Yavneh. In late September, Hamas fired a missile with a 60 km. range from the Gaza Strip into the Mediterranean Sea.
The IDF is also preparing information kits that could be distributed in the affected areas, as well as Home Front Command reserve units that would need to be deployed there in the event of rocket attacks.
The IDF believes that Hamas has obtained Iranian-made Fajr missiles, either the Fajr 3 or Fajr 5. The Fajr 3 is five meters long and can carry a 45-kilogram warhead. To increase the rocket’s range, Hamas has the option of shrinking the warhead to 25 or 30 kilograms, enabling it to strike deeper into Tel Aviv.
Hizbullah also possesses such a missile.
The Fajr 5 is slightly larger – 10 meters long – and has a range of up to 75 km, which could reach Tel Aviv, as well as communities further up the coast. Intelligence assessments are that Hamas smuggled the missiles into the Gaza Strip through tunnels, possibly as separate components.
Iran already supplies Hamas with 122mm Katyusha rockets that are smuggled into Gaza in several pieces, then assembled by Hamas engineers.