Israel’s efforts to repel Hamas retaliatory fire come at a high cost
The rockets fired by Hamas in retaliation for Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip are not very technologically different from those used in the past. However, they still caused serious financial losses to Israel. Each missile Israel fires to intercept cheap, locally made Palestinian rockets costs the country tens of thousands of dollars.
The discussion grabbed the headlines amid rumors that Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system was unable to intercept all rockets, some crashing in Tel Aviv and critical areas such as near a pipeline and close to Ben Gurion International Airport, causing its close proximity to commercial flights.
The airstrikes on Gaza, currently controlled by Hamas, were preceded by days of tension and Israeli aggression in occupied East Jerusalem, where hundreds of Palestinians were attacked by Israeli forces at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and in Sheikh Jarrah’s neighborhood. The IDF has carried out airstrikes across the Gaza Strip since May 10, leaving behind a massive trail of destruction across coastal territory and deliberately targeting civilian areas like schools and even Turkish media buildings and international.
The death toll from ongoing Israeli attacks on the besieged Gaza Strip has risen to 212, the Palestinian health ministry said on Monday. The grim figure includes 61 children, 35 women and 16 elderly people, the ministry said in a statement, adding that 1,400 people were injured in the offensive.
Ten Israelis were also killed in Palestinian rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip into Israel.
Uzi Rubin, an Israeli defense expert and engineer, who previously headed the Israel Missile Defense Organization, told the Daily Sabah that Hamas’ rocket intensity is much higher than in 2014, which saw the last major outbreak between Israel and Hamas before ending in a ceasefire.
According to open sources, Israel suffered the longest rocket assault in its history at the time, as Palestinian factions fired more than 10,000 rockets from Gaza, some with ranges covering most of Israeli territory. Hamas flexing the muscles of its rockets was an important test for Israel’s Iron Dome which was developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries, with funding from the United States and commissioned in 2011. .
It works with several independent units, including an independent radar unit, which picks up an incoming object, such as a rocket, determines its heading and where it is likely to fall, and intercepts it by detonating its payload near it. ‘object, which destroy it.
Asked specifically about changes over the past few years that may have affected the success rate of Hamas rockets in reaching the target, Rubin said, “What has changed are the numbers and intensity of the barrages of rockets, not technology or efficiency. ” However, the way they were used may have been altered, he said, highlighting the use of larger caliber weapons with heavier warheads.
Rubin added that Iron Dome, like any other defense system, “is not waterproof.”
Its accuracy is between 80% and 90%, generally close to the highest number, and that despite the increasing number of retaliatory rockets, he said, the Iron Dome hits most rockets, only missing of 10% of them.
It has shot down an average of 85 to 90 rockets out of 100 incoming, Rubin said, since the recent escalation began.
Iron Dome was designed to intercept short-range missiles and artillery like those typically fired from Gaza, however, several reports and statements suggest that Hamas now has more longer-range missiles than ever before, a another aspect that could serve as a lever to achieve a ceasefire. -Fire.
Hamas military spokesman Abu Ubaidah announced earlier that they had used a new rocket called “Ayyash 250” to strike near Tel Aviv which has a range of over 150 miles.
The claim has not been independently verified and Hamas rocket stocks are still only estimates, what may be critical in pushing the parties towards a ceasefire is the cost of maintaining the ‘climbing.
The interceptors of the Israeli defense system, which have not been tried on the battlefield against a regular army but against non-state groups like the militant group Hezbollah, are much more expensive than the rockets of Hamas, a fact well known shared by defense experts. Rubin recently pointed out that the best Hamas rockets are “relatively simple to make” and “inexpensive,” as the Jerusalem Post reports.
Reports suggest that Hamas’s Qassam short-range rocket costs between $ 300 and $ 800 each.
According to Tal Inbar, former president of the Fisher Institute’s Space Research Center, the cost of the Iron Dome interceptors is between $ 50,000 and $ 100,000 each.
However, there is less information available on the cost of Hamas longer range rockets such as R-160, M-302D, M302-B, J-80, M-75, Fajr-3, Fajr-. 5 and a second -generation M-75. According to Inbar, the cost of these rockets is expected to be in the order of a few thousand dollars per rocket, about two to three times more expensive than shorter range rockets. Inbar and Rubin agree that this is always an expense that must be paid and even if Hamas has longer-range missiles, their ability to accurately hit the target would still be questionable.
One of the main reasons is that Hamas currently does not have precision-guided missiles like Hezbollah, which would pose more of a threat to Israel, as Rubin pointed out in his articles.
In an article published in June 2020, the Israeli expert dubbed the father of the Arrow missiles, said that the belief that “missiles and rockets do not win the war” is a “dubious claim”, is obsolete and “patently false. “.
“Modern precision-guided missiles have the same combat effectiveness as combat aircraft, but they are easier to use and less vulnerable because they don’t rely on huge, stationary, target-rich air bases. Precision-guided missiles and rockets can cripple the civilian and military infrastructure of entire countries, paving the way for their defeat in wartime. These weapons can most certainly win wars, and Israel should do everything in its power not only to prevent their defeat, but to use them to defeat its enemies, ”he wrote.
Some 3,100 rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel according to the IDF on Monday, while Defense Minister Benny Gantz said earlier that the Iron Dome missile defense system had recorded more than 1,000 interceptions since May 10.
According to some, Hamas’s strategy is to overwhelm Israel’s air defense systems because many believe that neither Israel nor Hamas is funding their missiles and rockets.
“You now have a non-state actor who manages to strike targets in Tel Aviv using means they produce themselves,” said Fabian Hinz, an independent open source intelligence analyst specializing in Middle East missiles. at the Washington Post. He was quoted by the newspaper as saying that Hamas acquired some of the rockets from abroad, including Fajr-3 and Fajr-5 rockets from Iran and M302 rockets from Syria, but the group is now capable of to produce nationwide rockets with a range of almost 100 miles, technically bringing most of Israel within range.
“In terms of military technological change, this is quite something.”