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Israel accuses Hamas of rocket attack

Israeli military on high alert and accuse Hamas of attacking their tank and buying new rockets

Saleh Naami in Gaza, Wednesday 22 Dec 2010
Merkava
Israeli tank Merkava 4
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Israel has accused Hamas of employing weapons that distort the strategic balance between the two.

The sources, as reported by the Israeli newspaper Israel Today, claimed that this strategic shift is a consequence of Hamas’ procurement of Kornet missiles. The Russian weapon is the same that allowed Hizbullah fighters to destroy a large number of Israeli missiles in the 2006 war on Lebanon.

Consequently, the Israeli army announced on Wednesday its intentions to deploy an anti-rocket system to protect tanks operating near the Gaza Strip. The announcement on military radio comes after a tank was hit by a missile allegedly supplied by Iran.

Israeli military sources claim that Hamas resistance fighters penetrated the tank’s armour but that the rocket they fired did not explode or cause any casualties.

Israel TV’s Channel 10 relayed that the military command put troops deployed around the Gaza Strip on the highest level of alert. The Israeli military command also issued directives for increased military operations in Gaza.

"We will not stand idly, we will have to fight a large-scale military battle, because I cannot see a path for change until the full collapse of the Hamas authority," the head of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee, Shaol Mofaz, told Israeli military radio.

Mofaz added that Hamas seeks to impose its authority over the West Bank, to become the official representative of the Palestinians.

Opposition leader Tzipi Livni supported the government's response of striking Gaza and called for Hamas to be targeted.

"It doesn’t concern us which organization launched the rocket, Hamas has control over Gaza, Hamas alone bears responsibility and the consequences," she added in an interview with Israeli radio.

The new installed Israeli radar-guided system has sensors attached to the sides of vehicles that detect and track incoming rockets and fire off "countermeasures" to destroy them before they can hit the tank, manufacturer Rafael says.

It is known in Israel as Windbreaker and as Trophy on the export market.

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