Tuesday, June 26, 2012

26-Jun-12: GRAD rockets strike Netivot again tonight


Scene of a previous GRAD attack on Netivot in March 2012.
Fortunately the explosion occurred in a car park in the center of town,
meters away from residential buildings. Tonight's attack (so far at least)
has also had a relatively mild outcome. But a strategy of
defending your home and your family cannot be based
on luck alone. [Image Source]
In the past hour (it's now 11:00 pm Tuesday night here in Jerusalem), four [11:45 pm UPDATE: five] GRAD rockets were fired from a launcher in the Gaza Strip, tumultuously ending what the Jerusalem Post is calling "a brief period of calm". Terrified residents of the areas targeted ran for cover as air raid sirens sounded on three separate occasions. 

Two [11:45 pm UPDATE: three] incoming rockets are reported by Times of Israel to have been intercepted in mid-air by Israeli Iron Dome missile defence system fire. Intercepts generally happen when the system's computer assesses that the enemy rockets are on track to hit a residential or other strategic target. The other two GRAD rockets crashed and exploded near the southern desert city of Netivot (population: 27,000); no damage or injuries to humans are reported.

The GRADs now deployed by the terrorists of the Gaza Strip are reported [source] to carry a warhead of  up to 19 kg of explosives “wrapped” with lethal metallic fragments. With a length of approximately 3 m, the rocket has a range of 40 km. Developed in the former Soviet Union, it has been sold to many former-Soviet allies and has undergone improvements by the Chinese and Iranians who are believed to be the parties supplying the Gazan terrorists. GRAD rockets are used by nearly 50 militaries worldwide, though it's unlikely they are applied - as the Gazan Palestinian Arabs do - exclusively against civilians.

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