You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day - - Pslam 91:5

Rockets and Missiles

Many people have been sold the impression that Hamas and Hizbollah are (or have been) firing harmless homemade rockets at Israeli civilians. This page looks at what these rockets actually are and what damage they can do. (What they could do if the God of Israel was not protecting His people)

But, first, a report by Israel's i24 network on the current situation in 2019


Starting with the smallest rocket in the ever expanding arsenal.

What is a Qassam rocket?

The Qassam rocket (or Kassam rocket ) is a simple steel rocket filled with explosives, produced by Hamas. Three models have been used. They are all free-flying artillery rockets lacking any guidance system, fuelled by mixture of sugar and potassium nitrate ( a widely available fertilizer) with a warhead filled with TNT and urea nitrate (another fertilizer).

The Qassam 3 is 2.2 metres long and 17cm in diameter and weighs 90Kg. It has a payload of 10Kg of explosives and a range of 10Km.

The rocket is propelled by a square section propellant slug made of a 60/40 mix of potassium nitrate and sugar, that is slid into the steel pipe. The end of the rocket is a base plate having seven steel nozzles that is screwed into the casing before being tack welded into place. The propellant burns for around 1 second, powering the rocket upwards, at an angle, so that after the burn ceases the rocket follows a parabolic path under the influence of gravity, to hit the ground a predictable distance from its launch point. ( assuming a roughly standard energy input from the propellant slug and a repeatable launch angle)

If you want to experiment with parabolic trajectories, try varying the water pressure and the angle of a garden hose.

The rockets are launched from a simple steel frame, that is quickly deployed and can be easily taken away, or left behind if a swift evacuation is judged wise. By pointing the launcher in the direction of the desired target by eye, and by adjusting the launch angle to vary the range, using information gleaned from media reports of earlier hits, the terrorists can improve their accuracy.

The warhead contains a combination of urea nitrate and smuggled TNT; plus added shrapnel.

Detonation is by a simple device based on an empty small arms cartridge filled with an explosive booster material operating against a spring-loaded nail.

As for being “home made” a little thought will show that at least a small engineering works will be needed.

The body of the rocket is steel tube (agricultural irrigation pipe that Israel is compelled to supply to the Palestinians), but manufacturing a threaded endplate with seven steel nozzles is hardly kitchen table technology, and neither is the production of a nose cone

The propellant could, conceivably, be produced in the kitchen, if one has internalised the martyr culture. Sugar is melted, the fertilizer is mixed in and the mixture is poured into a mould to solidify into a correctly sized propellant slug. Sugar contains a large amount of energy but will only release it slowly when burnt. The fertilizer acts as an oxidizing agent (supply of oxygen) to allow the energy to be released much quicker. The correct proportion will cause it to burn fast enough to propel a rocket but not so fast as to explode. The sugar and fertilizer are also obtained via Israel as legitimate humanitarian necessities. The same is true of the urea nitrate fertilizer that is mixed with the TNT to make the explosive warhead.

While artillery rockets are not the only weapons used by the Terror organizations, from their point of view, they do have some advantages when compared with other weapons. They are simpler to operate than mortars, have the long reach that mines, by definition, do not have and after firing, their simple launchers can in fact be abandoned. Furthermore, they do not require suicidal volunteers and no amount of security guards will stop them.

The Hamas terrorists in Gaza are now also using mortars; a more advanced military technology.

Videos that were embedded in this page have been pulled by You Tube for infringing their no hatred rules.

Update from via Bill Koenig of Watch

Iran is working to give the Jihad Islami, its radical Palestinian arm in the Gaza Strip, a strong military edge over the ruling Hamas which it no longer trusts, and to set Jihad Islami up as the spearhead of a potential attack on Israel instead of Hamas.

Iranian and Hizballah missile engineers are working on magnifying the explosive punch, range and targeting precision of the estimated 15,000 Qassam missiles in the Jihad Islami's armory.

To this end, they're building for the terrorists a military industry with production lines which for the first time will give them the capacity for the high-speed serial production of Qassams instead of producing them one at a time.

Once those production lines are working, Jihad Islami can double the intensity of its missile attacks on Israeli locations from 100 to 200 per day. Their range has also been improved so as to reach Tel Aviv and its southern environs.

Much of what is said about Hamas and their Qassams also applies to HizbAllah in the North, except that their Katyusha and Grad rockets are supplied ready made via Iran and Syria.


Katyusha multiple rocket launchers are a type of rocket artillery originally built and fielded by the Soviet Union in the WWII. Compared to other types of artillery, such multiple rocket launchers are able to deliver a devastating amount of explosives to an area target more quickly but with lower accuracy and requiring a longer time to reload.

Hezbollah's rocket force

Rocket (Hezbollah designation)

Diameter (mm) [citation needed]

Range (km)

Warhead (kg)














Shahin I (Ra'ad 1)




Shahin 2




Fajr-5 (Khaibar-1)








Arash (rocket)




Oghab (rocket)









The main arsenal of Hezbollah's rocket force are the some 13,000 Katyusha rockets, including the 122mm BM-21 rockets which have a range of 25km

At least some of the rockets appear to have been modified to improve their effectiveness ; Human Rights Wanderers reported that the rocket that killed eight people at Haifa's main railway depot on , 2006 had been packed with metal ball bearings which acted as lethal shrapnel. Another rocket, filled with ball bearings, killed 12 Israeli .

Grad Rockets

Technical Specifications for Grad Rockets

Weight – 62-66 kg (136.4-145.2 lbs)

Length – 280 cm (9.2′)

Caliber – 122mm

Maximum Range – 20.4 km (12.67 miles) 3

Weight of War Head – 18 kg

Those desiring more technical information will find plenty on Wikipedia and other sources by Googling on the desired keyword.


As well as developing Nuclear weapons, Iran is developing and demonstration missiles capable of delivering them to Israel,

According to Wikipedia -


Jane's Information Group said in 2006 that Iran had six operational Shahab-3 brigades, the first of which was established in July 2003. They said that the six brigades were mainly equipped with standard variants, but with others described as enhanced Shahab-3 variants, with ranges of 1300-km, 1500-km and 2000-km respectively. Anthony Cordesman at the Center for Strategic and International Studies however said only in August 2007 that 'the air force of the IRGC is believed to operate Iran’s three Shahab-3 intermediate-range ballistic missiles units' while noting that their actual operational status remains uncertain.



According to Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, the head of Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard, made comments offering some of the clearest insights on Iran’s weapons support for Hamas, whose Iranian-engineered Fajr-5 missiles have struck near Tel Aviv and Jerusalem during weeklong battles with Israel. Jafari was quoted as saying Iran has supplied technology to Gaza for the missiles to be produced “quickly.” Up to now, Iran denied it directly supplied Hamas with the Fajr-5.

In November 2012 during Operation Pillar of Defense, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad fired Fajr-5 rockets towards Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. One hit an apartment block in Tel Aviv. Others were interception by Iron Dome or fell in an unpopulated area. The Fajr-5 came from Iran and were smuggled to Gaza launching sites, however Israel had followed their movement, and destroyed most of them in the second wave of air attacks that followed the killing of Hamas' military chief. Wikipedia

Note the 90Kg explosive payload. (indistinct in this picture)


The Palestinian militant group Hamas has developed the ability to construct rockets capable of targeting Tel Aviv, according to Lieutenant General Benny Gantz, chief of the general staff of IDF. The 200 mm M75 rocket was being produced in the Gaza Strip and has a range of 80 km.

Hamas spokesman

"For the first time, the (Ezzedine al-) Qassam Brigades strike Haifa with an R160 rocket, and strike occupied Jerusalem with four M75 rockets and Tel Aviv with four M75 rockets," a statement said, referring to the group's military wing.

An overview as of Summer 2014


Latest from Iran - from ICEJ - 25 May 2011

New Iranian missile designed for use by terrorists

Israeli defense analysts assessed that a new missile test fired by Iran on Sunday is designed to be used by its proxy terrorist militias like Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Hizbullah in Lebanon. The new surface-to-surface missile, called Qiyam 1 (Resurrection), is similar to the Soviet-designed SCUD missile, but is built without stabilizer fins, relying instead on an advanced navigation and guidance system which demonstrate a new level of technical mastery by Iran's military industry. Footage of the tests were aired in Iran even as US President Barak Obama told the AIPAC policy conference in Washington Sunday that he will "keep up pressure" on the Islamic Republic to prevent it from building nuclear weapons, as well as condemning its support for extremists in the region. He also criticized Iranian "hypocrisy" in "claiming to support the rights of protesters while treating its own people with brutality."


Where can they reach?


This 2011 illustrated map presented by the pro-Israel Americans for a Safe Israel (ASFI) shows that a Hamas-Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority state, with or without all the borders the PA demands, would leave all of what would remain of Israel within Katyusha missile range.

The map was created by Mark Langfan, a New York attorney and expert on military and strategic issues who has frequently appeared at Congressional committees on Capitol Hill.

A Hamas-Fatah PA state would allow the Hamas terrorist organization, whose stated aim is the destruction of Israel, to deploy Iranian and Syrian-supplied Katyusha missiles near all Israel urban centres.

Seventy percent of the population of Israel, and 80 percent of the country’s industrial base is located in the coastal region that includes Netanya and metropolitan Tel Aviv, AFSI pointed out. One large PA city is Tulkarm, located only a few miles east of Netanya and overlooking the high-speed north-south Highway 6 (Kvish 6).


Powerful - short range rockets

Fears for the next conflict in the north include the use of heavy barrage of large short-range rockets.

These are not of the standard variety and carry warheads with 100 to 500 kilograms of explosives. The Syrian military has used these rockets during its ongoing civil war to demolish neighborhoods. The major benefits of their rockets are their massive destructive power and the difficulty for Israel (Iron Dome) in intercepting them. (presumably this means they are fired directly (line of sight) rather than in a high parabolic trajectory)


A New Front opens

Terrorists in Sinai fired a missile at Eilat shortly before 1 a.m. on 12 August 2013, triggering an air raid siren and activating the Iron Dome anti-rocket battery, which is stationed at the Red Sea city.

The Iron Dome system intercepted at least one missile, according to initial IDF assessments. The incident marked the first time that Iron Dome has ever intercepted a rocket fired at Eilat.

"Assuming there is a threat from Sinai, and whether or not a warning alarm is sounded, we operate under the assumption that terrorist activity in Sinai may extend over to Eilat and other communities on the Sinai border."


Islamic Jihad using new tunnels in Gaza and showing use of sophisticated rockets.

(See 5 minutes in)


Anti Tank Missile

April 2010

A Cornet anti-tank missile hit an Israeli School bus outside Kibbutz Saad in the Shaar HaNegev area, critically injuring a teenage boy and the driver.

The Kornet (Russian: "Корнет"; English: Cornet) is a Russian anti-tank missile (ATGM). It is a second generation ATGM intended to deal with main battle tanks.

The missile had started development in 1988 as a modular, universal system able to engage any target from a mix of platforms using a reliable laser beam guidance system that was simple to use.

Warhead - 1000-1200mm RHA penetration after ERA with tandem thermobaric. Warhead weight 7Kg Heat + 10 Kg TNT equivalent. Fuse - imapct.

The reason there were only two casualties was that fifty other children had left the bus before the attack.


There is some confusion about what hit the bus, some suggesting it was a mortar round. An anti-tank missile should have done far more damage. (see video below) A military man explains;

An anti-Tank missile is a guided weapon which is directed onto its target by the operator. Be it wire, radio or even laser the operator can pick where on the target his missile will impact.
A mortar shell is fired blind. Yes a trained crew can direct their rounds into a target area, however they will never be as accurate as an anti-tank missile simply because they are lobbed at the target as opposed to guided.
As for the bus having a few windows blown out, the back of the bus (the engine block) was the target area:

The reason for this, is because anti-tank missiles are designed to penetrate the armour on a tank. Which means that at the speed they travel, the flimsy body of a coach would offer no resistance and the missile would travel through the coach without detonating , which is why the engine block was targeted so as to initiate the warhead. However by the look of it, the warhead failed to detonate. The windows would have been taken out by the shockwave and shrapnel.

This is how an anti-Tank missile is supposed to work.


Hammas is prepared to use a weapon like this against a school bus?!

Iran provides coastal missiles for Gaza

Iran is managing the establishment of a line of radar-guided, shore-to-sea missiles along the Gaza coast - to prevent Israel's missile ships from getting near enough to the enclave from the Mediterranean to shell shore targets, and as a barrier against Israeli armored or special-forces landings.

Iranian missile experts are on the spot setting up the missile deployments and organizing the logistics for their transfer from storage to preset launching sites.

Scores of Jihad Islami fighters are undergoing special course in their use at Revolutionary Guards centers while Iranian instructors in Gaza are showing them how to use their radar systems.


Iron Dome - (Israeli system)

Iron Dome is a system combining advanced radar and rocket technology to detect incoming rockets, determine if they will hit a populated area and launch a rocket to destroy them if they are.

During the missile barrage of March 2012, the system was reported to be working beyond expectations. IDF claimed that the Iron Dome system intercepted 56 out of 73 rockets heading for populated areas.

The above caption is a piece of stupidity from the British media - The Times - March 2012

This picture shows Iron Dome rockets being fired to intercept incoming rockets from Gaza approaching Israeli population centers like Ashdod, Ashkelon, Beersheva, etc.

Moreover, the Times can’t blame this on the European Press Agency’s original caption. The EPA got it right. (Information from Honest Reporting)

The down-side

From an article on -iron-dome-hamass-best-friend /2012/11/19/

"Back in mid-June, during the great Paris weapons show, the Rafael pavilion was absolutely the busiest around, and everybody wanted to look at the new, exciting, Iron Dome system, the greatest achievement in rocket defense ever. But by the end of the show, Rafael hadn't made a single sale. The Arrow sold well, other systems did great - Iron Dome wasn't moving. So they contacted their big clients, the serious ones, and asked what gives. And those clients told them no one except Israel has any use for these things. Because in any normal, sane country, if some hooligans were to start targeting civilians with rockets - the army would go and kill them.


The government-owned defense contractor responsible for the Iron Dome system, Rafael, unveiled its new project: C-Dome. C-Dome offers 360-degree protection in a compact installation, specifically geared towards small ships and maritime facilities.

C-Dome is designed to help counteract any threats from the air, including missiles, helicopters and tiny unmanned drone aircraft. Unlike current systems in place in larger vessels, the new C-Dome will be able to fire up to a missile per second and cover a 360-degree range with heat-tracking missiles that zero in on multiple incoming threats at a time, all using the ship's existing radar systems.

"C-dome is based on the only system in the world that has more than 1,000 intercepts," said program director Ari Sacher. "We can protect the ship from every direction at the same time.

C-Dome's compact construction will allow it to be installed in smaller ships, where it can protect not only its host vessel, but other ships or oil or gas installations nearby, as well.

"The most strategic sites for the future will be gas platforms and oil platforms," "You have to secure them from missiles; Missiles that will be from terror organizations, from mother boats, from enemy countries, from drones - or any other aerial threat."

As for Iron Dome system, C-Dome is designed to rapidly calculate a projectile's trajectory, and only fires if the target is headed towards a sensitive location, such as a populated area, while projectiles destined for empty spaces are allowed to fall.

David's Sling missile defense system ready for use, defense officials say

Iran builds offensive mass destruction missiles - Israel builds defensive missiles.

Shoulder Launched Surface to Air Missiles

In November 2002 an Israeli charter flight was attacked in Mombasa, Kenya. Terrorists targeted the airliner with SA-7 missiles that narrowly missed the aircraft that had 261 people on board.

Since then, SAMs have been a major concern, but Israel's Defense Ministry announced, in March 2014, that SkyShield, developed by Elbit Systems, had successfully concluded operational tests and is certified for commercial use to counter the growing threat of man-portable surface-to-air missile systems (MANPADS). The technology is a commercial version of Elbit's multi-spectral infrared countermeasure, SkyShield uses advanced laser technology and thermal imaging to deflect incoming threats by way of jamming.

Plans call for equipping all aircraft operated by El Al, Israel's national carrier, and its subsidiaries with the newly certified SkyShield system.


Nuclear weapon delivery rocket tests

Alleged Iranian and North Korean nuclear and ballistic missile test "failures" may actually be EMP nuclear weapon's "successes." For instance, the recent North Korean "failed" ballistic missile reached at least 50 kilometers altitude.


Electro-Magnetic Pulse Weapons

An EMP Nuclear Weapon detonated at an altitude of about 50 kilometers above a given targeted battlefield area, doesn't harm a fly, but generates an Electromagnetic Pulse that destroys all the electronics and modern defense systems that rely on electronics, within about 750 kilometers of the blast radius, and leaves non-electronic World War II-vintage weapons like regular guns such as Kalashnikovs and Katyushas totally unaffected.

Such an Iranian EMP Nuclear Weapon, with the element of surprise would allow the Iranians to follow on such a high-altitude nuclear EMP burst with a conventional blitzkrieg.

It would enable Iran to conventionally attack and conquer Eastern Saudi Arabia and liberate 5 million Shiite Muslims from the heretical yolk of Sunni rule.

It could destroys all western high-tech weapons and satellite systems that US and Saudi Arabia depend on to maintain their military edge over Iran enabling Iran to take hostage 30,000 living US soldiers as POWs.

From an article by Mark Langfan


Footnote - something that does not affect Israel - one hopes

You may have been wondering how a failed Russian missile test caused radiation to be spread.

Russia admits nuclear reactor blew up during missile test 250 miles from Moscow - American Military News Russia confirmed that an explosion on 8th August 2019 involved a nuclear reactor during a failed missile test at a site just 250 miles from Moscow. Five nuclear scientists were killed in the explosion. The missile is believed to have been a long range cruise type missile, and it represents further moves away from Nuclear arms limitation agreements..

Russia’s state-run nuclear agency Rosatom had confirmed that the explosion killed several of its employees in a test of an “isotope power source in a liquid propulsion system.”

How is a nuclear reactor involved in a propulsion system ?
See here wiki/Nuclear_thermal_rocket


Updated 16/08/19

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