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18:37

21 JUL 2024

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  • Kylie Lobell

Under Constant Fire: How Many Rockets Have Terror Groups Shot Into Israel?

Thousands of rockets have been lobbed at Israel by terror organizations. Dive into the numbers to see how many.  


Graph showing the number of rockets fired at israel over time

 


  • On October 7, 2023, Hamas sent a barrage of over 5,000 rockets from Gaza into Israel


  • From that date, through December 28, Hamas and other militant groups have fired a total of 12,000 missiles at Israeli targets 


  •  Since Israel activated its Iron Dome missile defense system in 2011, it has intercepted thousands of rockets, saving thousands of Israeli lives


  •  Hamas receives many of its rockets and other weapons from Iran 


 

Since October 7–the worst massacre of the Jewish people since the Holocaust–Hamas and other militant groups have fired 12,000 rockets at Israel (as of December 28, 2023). In the two weeks following October 7, a total of 7,000 rockets had already been fired at Israel.  

 

The number of Israeli casualties from the rocket fire has reached 15. That surprisingly low number is due to the country’s Iron Dome air defense system. Without it, the number of fatalities would be significantly higher.



What Is The Iron Dome And How Succesful Is It?

 

The Iron Dome missile defense system uses radar detection to stop short-range rockets from landing in populated areas of Israel where they could injure or kill anyone in the area. The system detects incoming missiles and intercepts them via a built-in launcher that fires a missile at the rocket, intercepting it so that it explodes in the sky. Though shrapnel may then drop, the damaging power of each rocket is effectively neutralized. 


If the Iron Dome’s radar system determines that the trajectory of a given missile will cause it to land in an uninhabited area, such as a field, then it does not intercept the rocket. At the same time, when a rocket is heading toward Israel, air raid sirens within the targeted areas are sounded, and depending on how close to Gaza they are located, Israelis have as little as 30 seconds to go into a bomb shelter for safety.


Each Iron Dome missile that’s fired at incoming rockets costs $40,000 to $50,000. Due to the high cost of the Iron Dome system and the broader war in general, the US House of Representatives has pledged to provide $14.3 billion to Israel for its defense needs.

 

Israel developed the Iron Dome following the 2006 conflict with the Southern Lebanon-based militant group Hezbollah. During that conflict, rockets from the terrorist organization killed dozens of Israelis causing a huge amount of damage. With some American financial aid, Israeli firms Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries created the Iron Dome to protect Israel.

 

The Iron Dome’s success rate has been as high as 90%. However, when dealing with a barrage of rockets, the system is less likely to be effective. During the current war, it failed on October 27 when a rocket hit an apartment building in Tel Aviv leaving four people injured. If Hezbollah decides to ramp up its activities on Israel’s northern front, it could overwhelm the Iron Dome, given that the terrorist group has an estimated 150,000 missiles and rockets in its arsenal.

 

Notwithstanding, Israeli military spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus stands by the system.  “The number of Israelis killed and wounded would be far higher if it had not been for the Iron Dome system, which has been a lifesaver, as it always is,” he says.



Which Terrorist Groups Fire Rockets at Israel? 


Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist organizations including  Palestine Islamic Jihad and Fatah, along with Hezbollah, have all sent rockets into Israel. Lately, Hamas and Hezbollah have been responsible for most of the rockets fired.

 


What Kind of Rockets Are Being Fired By Hamas And How Far Can They Reach Into Israel?


Since the early 2000s, terrorist organizations in Gaza have launched thousands of rocket and mortar attacks on Israel. In the past, these actions have been condemned as terrorism and called out as war crimes by organizations like the United Nations and the European Union. 


Generically dubbed Qassams, the early iterations were crudely developed and relatively ineffective. These early versions would typically only reach communities in the immediate vicinity of the Gaza  Strip. But beginning in 2006, terrorist groups started producing longer-range rockets that, when launched from Gaza, could reach the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon; by 2012 the locally made "M-75" as well as Iranian Fajr-5 rockets were able to reach as far as Tel Aviv which is in central Israel. Another notable “milestone” occurred in 2014 when these rockets were able to reach as far as the northern Israeli city of Haifa. Some of those rockets also contained white phosphorous which acts as an additional incendiary. 


Reports have indicated that, at times, the rockets have been launched from the UN’s Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) facilities in Gaza as well as from areas in the Strip designated as humanitarian zones. Indeed, Hamas is known for using human shields and hiding out in hospitals, schools, mosques, and other civilian facilities. 



Rocket Misfires Are Deadly to Palestinian Gazans 

 

One of the consequences of Hamas’ rocket barrages is that some tend to fall short of their targets. As of November 10, 2023, about 12% of rockets launched in the Strip towards Israel ended up falling within Gaza

 

On October 17, controversy erupted when many major media outlets reported that, according to the Gaza Health Ministry, which is run by Hamas, an Israeli airstrike on a Gaza City hospital left 471 dead. In reality, Israeli and US intelligence services determined that the deadly blast at the al-Ahli Arab hospital was caused, instead, by another Gaza-based terrorist group whose rocket misfired. As well, the actual death toll from the misfired rocket was estimated to be lower–between 100 and 300, according to US intelligence.



How Frequently Are Rockets Fired Into Israel?

 

Since 2005, when Israel withdrew from Gaza, Hamas and other Gaza-based terrorist organizations have fired more than 18,000 rockets and mortars at Israel. These rockets have a variety of ranges, but overall many can now hit a majority of Israel’s central and southern population centers, including Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Beersheba, and Rehovot. Hamas’ launches have been erratic, however. There have been as few as one rocket fired at a time, to up to thousands launched within hours or even days. 


Since 2008, How Many Rockets Have Been Fired at Israel?


There have been a number of Israeli operations into Gaza over the years, after repeated and frequent rocket attacks as well as other incursions on Israel since 2008. These include: 


  • 2008: Operation Hot Winter began on February 29, 2008, after Hamas launched Qassam rockets at Israeli citizens from Gaza. For the first time, Hamas, the Popular Resistance Committees, and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad fired six Soviet-made Grad missiles toward Ashkelon, injuring some people while causing psychological terror among others. Israel responded with airstrikes on terrorist cells in Gaza.


  • 2010: 150 rocket launches and 215 mortar launches at Israel took place over the course of the year. In 2009, there were 569 rocket launches and 289 mortar launches. 


  • 2011: On August 21, 2011, Hamas and Israel called for a ceasefire following another conflict where more than 100 rockets were fired at Israel; one Israeli was killed, and more than a dozen were wounded. Almost immediately after the ceasefire took effect, rocket fire once again came from Gaza and Israel responded with an airstrike that killed two leaders of Islamic Jihad.


  • 2012: After Israel took out Zohair al-Qaisi, the secretary general of the Popular Resistance Committee, militants in Gaza fired “over 300 Grad missiles, Qassam rockets and mortar shells launched, of which 177 hit Israeli territory, striking the major urban centers of Ashdod, Ashkelon and Beersheba,” according to Wikipedia. 


  • 2014: The 2014 Gaza war, called Operation Protective Edge, started after terrorists kidnapped and killed three Israeli teenagers. Israel arrested members of Hamas in the West Bank, and Hamas and other terrorist groups responded by shooting 4,564 rockets and mortars into Israel before a ceasefire was called.


  • 2021: During the month of May, Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad launched 4,360 rockets toward Israel as an Israel-Palestine crisis escalated. The conflict started when six Palestinian families were up for eviction in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.


  • 2022: 1,100 rockets were fired from Gaza towards Israel during Gaza-Israel clashes It started after an Israeli airstrike killed Tayseer al-Jabari, a terrorist leader. 


The Number of Rockets Fired Into Israel Over Time


Year

2008

2,000

2009

550

2010

150

2011

700

2012

2,250

2013

30

2014

2,800

2015

20

2016

15

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

4,300

2022

1,100

2023

12,000


How Many Rockets Were Fired at Israel in 2023?


The rocket attacks on Israel in 2023 that came from Gaza started long before October 7, though they have been much more intense since then. From May 9-13, 1,469 rockets and mortar shells were fired into Israel; most came from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Of those, 291 landed within the Gaza Strip; 131 landed in Israel; and 39 fell into the Mediterranean sea. Two people in Israel were left dead, many were wounded. 


Between October 7 through the end of December 2023, Hamas and additional militant groups have fired upward of 12,000 rockets at Israel. 



Where Does Hamas Get Their Rockets From? 


Hamas obtains rockets and other weapons from a variety of sources. When Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005, Hamas began importing rockets and other military equipment from Iran. The weapons from Iran were shipped to Sudan, then trucked across Egypt and eventually smuggled through narrow tunnels built underneath the Sinai Peninsula. 


While there has yet been no direct link made between the October 7 attacks and Iran, a source told Reuters that Iran prepared and trained Hamas for the massacre that day.



A Second Front on Israel’s North: Rockets Fired From Lebanon 


Hamas is not the only terror group lobbing rockets toward Israel. While much attention has been given to Hamas’ rocket fire from Gaza additional barrages are coming from Hezbollah in Southern Lebanon. 


Hezbollah, a Lebanese terror group with strong ties to Iran, has been consistently firing rockets into Israel’s northern territory, raising the possibility of a legitimate second front to the war. 


As of mid-November 2023, it was estimated that Hezbollah has fired over 1,000 rockets, mortars, or other artillery toward Israel’s northern towns as part of the current conflict.  


According to a report drafted on January 7, 2024, the total number of weaponry fired into Israel by Hezbollah has topped 1,500 since October 7, 2023. This includes a one-day barrage of 62 rockets in response to the targeted killing of Hamas chief Saleh al-Arouri in Beirut on January 2. 


 

Source List

 

 

 

 

 

 

 








Wikipedia, 2014 Gaza War 




Council of Foreign Relations, What Is Hezbollah, October 14, 2023




 

Kylie Ora Lobell


Kylie Ora Lobell is president of KOL Digital Marketing, a marketing and PR firm for businesses, organizations, authors, and influencers. She is also an award-winning journalist with bylines in the Washington Post, New York Magazine, Aish, Tablet, and the Los Angeles Times.

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