Military sources said Hamas was producing mortars filled with
phosphorous for attacks on Israel. They said the new mortars contained a
greater lethality than previous Hamas models.
"They are much more dangerous and could cause tremendous damage if they
hit the right places," a military source said.
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The military said Hamas has begun firing the phosphorous mortars into
Israel. The first such attack was reported on Sept. 14 when two out of nine
mortars fired into Israel contained phosphorous, Middle East Newsline reported.
The Hamas mortar attack on southern Israel did not cause any damage or
injuries. But the sources said the phosphorous shells could result in the
torching of crops in the area.
In September, Hamas and its Palestinian militia allies were reported to
have escalated missile, mortar and rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip. The
military has reported daily rocket launches as well as retaliatory Air Force
strikes on suspected Hamas tunnels in the Gaza Strip.
The sources said Hamas has been enhancing its arsenal over the last
year. They cited efforts to enlarge warheads, extend their range and
One of the enhancements was the installation of a new conventional
explosive payload in the Hamas-origin Kassam-class, short-range missile. The
upgraded missiles were said to contain a payload of 10 kilograms, about
three times the size of the heritage weapon.