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2009 ‫1 בינואר‬

Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Israel Intelligence Heritage & Commemoration Center (IICC)

Summary of rocket fire and mortar shelling in 2008

Ashdod

Ashkelon Kiryat Gat

Beersheba

About one miilllliion Israellii ciiviilliians threatened by rocket fiire About one m on Israe c v ans threatened by rocket f re

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Overviiew Overv ew
1. The year 2008 saw the peak of rocket use by Hamas and the other terrorist organizations
operating in the Gaza Strip. Last year, the terrorist organizations managed to significantly increase the scope of rocket attacks. They gradually put nearly one million Israeli civilians living in the south (about 15 percent of the entire population) within the range of the rockets, and posed a security challenge to Israel, prompting it to launch Operation Cast Lead. 2. Rocket fire and mortar shelling first started in 2001, gradually becoming the major threat posed by the Palestinian terrorist organizations, which consider it an asymmetrical, simple, cheap, and reliable solution to Israel’s military superiority. The rockets, while still having their share of problems and shortcomings, in the terrorists’ view, allow them to disrupt the lives of Israeli civilians within the range of fire, destabilize their social fabric, override the security fence built by Israel along the Gaza Strip, and create a kind of balance of terror that makes it difficult for Israel’s security forces to conduct counter-activities and reflects the terrorist policy of Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip. 3. Following are three major characteristics of the use made by Hamas and the other terrorist organizations of rockets during 2008 (see chapter on statistical data for details):

a. A dramatic increase in the extent of rocket fire and mortar shelling despite
the six months long lull in the fighting: in 2008, the peak year of rocket fire and mortar shelling, a total of 3,278 rockets and mortar shells landed in Israeli territory (1,750 rockets and 1,528 mortar shells). That is a significant increase compared to 2007 (the number of landings in 2008 more than doubled) and compared to the previous years of the Palestinian terrorist campaign.

b. A significant increase in the number of Israeli residents exposed to rocket fire within 40 km of the Gaza Strip: before 2008, the city of Sderot (about 20,000 residents) as well as villages around the Gaza Strip were the preferred target of rocket fire and mortar shelling. In 2008, other cities and hundreds of thousands of Israelis gradually entered the circle of fire: first the cities of Ashkelon and Netivot, and later, during Operation Cast Lead, Ashdod, Beersheba, and other cities within a range of 40 kilometers from the Gaza Strip. The rocket attacks created a new reality in which nearly one million Israeli residents (about 15 percent of the entire

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population) are exposed to rocket fire and mortar shelling in various levels of intensity.

c. A significant improvement in the effectiveness of rockets and mortar shells possessed by Hamas and an increase in their quantity: in 2008, Hamas put into use 122-mm Grad launchers (for ranges of 20.4 km and approximately 40 km) and standard 120-mm mortars, which were smuggled into the Gaza Strip (in our assessment, from Iran). Those standard rockets and mortars, significantly different from self-manufactured rockets and mortars, not only increased the range of fire but also increased its effectiveness. That is a result of increasing the rockets’ warhead size and their fragmentation. As for the mortars—the standard 120-mm mortars are more precise and their range is greater than that of the other mortars possessed by Hamas and the other terrorist organizations.

4. The quantity of rockets held by Hamas and the other terrorist organizations has also
increased, currently reaching, in our assessment, a constant supply of several hundred selfmanufactured 90 and 115-mm rockets and an unknown quantity of self-manufactured long-range rockets capable of attaining greater ranges (up to 19 km). Also, we assess that Hamas has dozens of standard long-range Grad rockets (122-mm) with a range of 20.4 km and a range of approximately 40 km, smuggled into the Gaza Strip through the tunnels in the Rafah region, some during the lull in the fighting. 5. As a result of the rocket and mortar shell fire, eight people were killed in 2008, four of them during Operation Cast Lead.1 During that operation, 58 people were injured as a result of rocket and mortar fire, 10 of them moderately and severely (as at December 31, 2008). Also, several dozen civilians were injured as a result of the rocket fire in 2008 (prior to Operation Cast Lead), and several hundreds suffered stress-related traumas. The number of fatalities, injuries, and stress-related traumas in 2008 is added to the number of casualties in the previous years of the confrontation (2001-2007): 10 civilians were killed, 434 were wounded, and thousands of civilians suffered from anxiety, shock, and various traumas as a result of the fire. The continuing fire of rockets and mortar shells has a severe, cumulative psychological effect on the population, causing severe damage to its social structure and severe damage to its feeling of safety. The fire also disrupts the efforts to promote a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians (the Annapolis process) by creating a lasting

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In 2008, 21 people were killed as a result of terrorist attacks originating in the Gaza Strip, out of 31 killed as a result of terrorist attacks during that year (Summary of 2008 by the Israel Security Agency).

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reality of rocket fire and counter-measures by Israel, which reached their peak in Operation Cast Lead.

Statiistiicall data Stat st ca data

6. What follows is a summary of statistical data in various spreads about the rocket fire and mortar shelling in 2008 compared to previous years:

a. Rocket fire chart in yearly distribution, 2000-2008
b. Mortar shelling chart in 2000-2008 c. Rocket fire chart in monthly distribution in 2008 d. Mortar shelling in monthly distribution in 2008 e. Rocket fire and mortar shelling during the lull in the fighting f. Rocket fire and mortar shelling during Operation Cast Lead (as at December 31) g. New Grad rockets and mortars which became operational in 2008:

1.122-mm Grad rockets for a range of 20.4 km
2.122-mm Grad rockets for ranges of approximately 40 km 3.120-mm mortars h. The number of Israeli residents in the main cities of south Israel (the Negev)

Compllementary studiies Comp ementary stud es
7. To complete the data and analysis in this document, one can draw upon four fundamental papers written by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center in 2008: a. Rocket threat from the Gaza Strip, 2000-2007 (December 2007) b. Hamas’s military buildup in the Gaza Strip (Updated April 2008) c. Anti-Israeli Terrorism in 2007 and its Trends in 2008 (May 2008) d. The Six Months of the Lull Arrangement (December 2008)

5 Rocket fiire iin yearlly diistriibutiion,, 2000-2008 Rocket f re n year y d str but on 2000-2008
1730

Total: 4,048 rockets

1800 1600 1400 946 1200 783 1000 800 281 155 600 179 400 200 0

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2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

Mortar shelllliing iin 2000-2008 Mortar she ng n 2000-2008
1528 1600

Total: 4,040 mortar shells

1400

1200

876 640

1000

800

600 245 257 265 238

400 22

200

0 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008

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Rocket fiire iin monthlly diistriibutiion,, 2008 Rocket f re n month y d str but on 2008
June 19, the beginning of the lull in the fighting

Total: 1,665 rockets

361

400 350

257 241 196 145 149 87

300 250 200 125 150 100 1 8 1
Sep.

1
Oct. Nov. Dec.

50 0

Jan.

Feb.

Mar.

Apr.

May

Jun.

Jul.

Aug.

Mortar shelllliing iin monthlly diistriibutiion,, 2008 Mortar she ng n month y d str but on 2008
Total: 1,497 mortar shells
373 400

June 19, the beginning of the lull of the fighting

350

241 228 206

300

250

158 136 103

200

150 68 100 8 3

3

1

50

0
Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.

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The llullll iin the fiightiing The u n the f ght ng
Rocket fiire and mortar shelllliing duriing the llullll iin the Rocket f re and mortar she ng dur ng the u n the fiightiing compared to previious months f ght ng compared to prev ous months

241 68 257 Rockets Mortar shells 136
M ar b. Ap r. . Ja n . Fe

361

400 200

196 103

145 373

149 206

84 153 3 5

8 4

3 8
Au g.

3 1
Se p.

1

1

125
No v. De c.

0

241 228

Ju n. 118 Ju n. 18 -3 0

M ay

Ju l.

A total of 223 rockets and 139 mortar shells were fired during the lull in the fighting, including 203 rockets and 121 mortar shells between November 4 and December 19. In total, 362 rockets and mortar shells were fired at Israel during the lull in the fighting.

Oc t.

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Rocket fiire and mortar shelllliing duriing the fiirst periiod of Rocket f re and mortar she ng dur ng the f rst per od of the llullll iin the fiightiing (untiill November 4) the u n the f ght ng (unt November 4)
Total: 20 rocket landings (3 of which in the Gaza Strip) and 18 mortar shells (5 of which in the Gaza Strip)
5 Rockets Mortar shells 4 4 3 3 2 1 0 June July August September October 8 8 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0

Note: the chart includes the fire incidents as of June 19, the beginning of the lull in the fighting. The chart includes 3 rockets and 5 mortar shells which landed in the Gaza Strip.

The deteriioratiion of the llullll iin the fiightiing: rocket fiire and The deter orat on of the u n the f ght ng: rocket f re and mortar shelllliing iin daiilly diistriibutiion iin the month of mortar she ng n da y d str but on n the month of November 2008 November 2008
Total: 125 rockets and 68 mortar shells

50 46 45 40 35 30

Rockets Mortar shells 17 15 13 7 16

25 20 15 10 5 0
5

8 7 5 5 3 3 54 3 1 01011 0 3 3 22 1 00 3 7 6 0 0 10 9 8 1 02 1 01 13 12 11 2 1 0 11 01 11 01 0 2 2 16 15 14 17 20 19 18
23 22 21 26 25 24 29 28 27 30

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The detteriiorattiion off tthe llulll iin tthe ffiighttiing: rockett ffiire iin daiilly The de er ora on o he u n he gh ng: rocke re n da y diisttriibuttiion iin tthe montth off December 2008 d s r bu on n he mon h o December 2008
Total: 276 rockets

The end of the lull in the fighting according to Hamas’s announcement.

80 70 61 57 4243 60 50

Rocket s 18 12 4 2 1 5 7 2 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 8 7 7 1010 3 6

40 30 20

30

14 5 10 2 0

The detteriiorattiion off tthe llulll iin tthe ffiighttiing: morttar shellliing iin daiilly The de er ora on o he u n he gh ng: mor ar she ng n da y diisttriibuttiion iin tthe montth off December 2008 d s r bu on n he mon h o December 2008
Total: 241 mortar shells in December 2008 35

30 25 20 Mortar shells 15 10 5 0 4 5 4 2 1 16 13

1.12 2.12 3.12 4.12 5.12 6.12 7.12 8.12 9.12 10.1 11.1 12.1 13.1 14.1 15.1 16.1 17.1 18.1 19.1 20.1 21.1 22.1 23.1 24.1 25.1 26.1 27.1 28.1 29.1 30.1 31.1

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The end of the lull of the fighting according to Hamas’s announcement

30 25

18 14 8 6 3 0 0 0 1 1 2 0 0 1 6 0 1 10

16 15

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1.12 2.12 3.12 4.12 5.12 6.12 7.12 8.12 9.12 10.1 11.1 12.1 13.1 14.1 15.1 16.1 17.1 18.1 19.1 20.1 21.1 22.1 23.1 24.1 25.1 26.1 27.1 28.1 29.1 30.1 31.1

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Rockett ffiire and morttar shellliing duriing Operattiion Castt Lead Rocke re and mor ar she ng dur ng Opera on Cas Lead
Total: 217 rocket landings and 95 mortar shell hits during Operation Cast Lead

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70 57 42 43 60 50 40 25 14 16 15 6 30 20 10 0

‫רקטות‬ Rockets ‫פצצות מרגמה‬ Mortar shells

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27.12

28.12

29.12

30.12

31.12

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New standard rockets and mortars used iin New standard rockets and mortars used n 2008 2008
Improved 122-mm Grad Improved 122-mm Grad

Improved Grad rocket Diameter—122 mm Maximum range—20.4 km Warhead weight—66 kg Manufacturer—China, Iran, Russia, Bulgaria

Improved 122-mm Grad rocket for ranges of approxiimatelly 40 km Improved 122-mm Grad rocket for ranges of approx mate y 40 km

Diameter—122 mm Maximum range—40 km Warhead weight—18-22 kg Number of ball bearings—3,000-5,700 Manufacturer—China

The remains of the rocket identified by the Israeli police, which landed near Gan Yavne, northeast of Ashdod (December 28)

120-mm mortar shellll 120-mm mortar she

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120-mm standard Iranian-made mortar shell (a replica of an Israel Military Industries mortar shell from the 1970s supplied to Iran). The bomb is equipped with an auxiliary rocket engine which increases its range from six to ten kilometers. Note: on February 24, 2008, such mortar shell was fired and landed near Kibbutz Saad. On June 5, a 120-mm mortar shell hit the Nirlat paint factory in Kibbutz Nir Oz, killing Amnon Rosenberg, 51, from Kibbutz Nirim, and injuring four other people, two of them moderately. In addition, 120-mm mortar shells were fired in some other incidents.

Large Israeli cities exposed to rocket fire

City
Ashdod Beersheba Ashkelon Kiryat Gat Rahat Yavne Netivot Ofakim Kiryat Malachi Sderot

Number of residents2
208,900 186,800 110,000 47,900 43,300 32,300 26,100 24,700 19,700 19,400

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According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, as of September 2008.