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Fall 2014

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Rockets Used By Other Palestinian Groups

A PIJ terrorist preparing to fire rockets at Israel.

Hamas is not the only group firing rockets into Israeli civilian centers. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, and several lesser-known groups have also claimed responsibility for several rocket attacks. Contrary to media reports, the rockets fired by these groups are not Qassams. These homemade rockets, while similar to the Qassam, have different names and capabilities.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)

PIJ uses its own version of Qassam rockets, known as Quds 2 and Quds 3. The most advanced rocket of them is the Class B Quds 3, which has a maximum range of 5.6 miles, and is similar in design and capabilities to the Qassam 2. In March 2006, PIJ began upgrading its Quds rocket in an attempt to strike the city of Ashkelon, approximately 9 miles from Northern Gaza. Recently, PIJ claimed to have successfully achieved this capability. PIJ is the only Palestinian group known to fire vehicle mounted rockets. The Iran-sponsored group, however, has a slower rate of rocket production compared to Hamas.

Fatah

The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, the armed Islamist wing of the Fatah movement, has developed its own brand of rockets, too. The Al-Aqsa Brigades’ rockets are known as the Al-Aqsa and the Al-Yasser. They are both similar in design, size, and construction to Qassam rockets. The range of the Al-Aqsa rocket is superior to the Qassam I, but inferior to the Qassam II, reaching a maximum of 4.3 miles. Reportedly still under development, the Al-Yasser, is said to have a range of 9-11.5 miles.

Lesser-Known Groups

The rocket manufacturing capability of the Popular Resistance Committee (PRC) is far inferior to Hamas. The PRC has three types of rockets: the Short Nasser, with a range of 3.72 miles, and the Long Nasser 3 and the Nasser 4, which have a range of 5.6 miles. The primary difference between these two rockets is their length and weight.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) has only one type of rocket: the Sumud. This rocket has a maximum range of 4.3 miles. The military wing of the PFLP, the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, continues to launch these rockets on the Israeli town of Sderot.

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