AFP: The Israeli army on Monday said that all the long-range rockets fired by Gaza militants against southern Israel during the latest round of violence were manufactured in arch-foe Iran. JERUSALEM (AFP) The Israeli army on Monday said that all the long-range rockets fired by Gaza militants against southern Israel during the latest round of violence were manufactured in arch-foe Iran.
Speaking to the parliament’s powerful foreign affairs and defence committee, a senior military intelligence official said that over 20 Katyusha-type rockets, also known as Grad, were fired against Israel since last Thursday.
“We are talking about regular Iranian-made rockets,” an official quoted the intelligence official as saying.
The 122-millimetre rockets have a range of about 20 kilometres (12.5 miles) and carry a large payload which caused heavy damage to buildings in the southern coastal town of Ashkelon, which bore the brunt of the Grad rocket fire.
Gaza militants have in recent years fired thousands of short-range makeshift rockets and mortars against southern Israel, but have only rarely fired the longer-range Grad-type rockets.
Israel believes that over 100 such rockets were smuggled into the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip through its porous border with Egypt in recent months following the Hamas violent takeover of the territory, a security official has told AFP.
More than 116 Palestinians, including 22 children, were killed during the latest escalation of violence in Gaza which erupted last Wednesday and ended early Monday morning. Two Israeli soldiers and one Israeli civilian have also been killed.
Israel accuses Iran of actively backing and supplying arms to Hamas.