New Hamas Kassam-4 missile achieves 20-km range

Monday, August 25, 2003

TEL AVIV Hamas has fired its new Kassam-4 missile from the northern Gaza Strip on Sunday toward Israel. The short-range missile reached the outskirts of Ashkelon, the largest city in the area.

Israeli military sources said the Kassam-4 achieved a range of close to 20 kilometers. The missile was said to have landed in a beach area one kilometer south of Ashkelon's power station. Nobody was injured. "The goal is to strike the power station," a military source said. "If Hamas got this far, the rest should be no problem."

Hamas has been employing at least three Kassam models in strikes against Israel over the last two years. The Kassam-2 is said to have a range of between six and eight kilometers. The Kassam-3 has a range of up to 12 kilometers. The military sources said the ranges of both models have also been extended.

In July, Hamas tested a new Kassam missile in the Gaza Strip, Middle East Newsline reported. The missile was fired into the Mediterranean Sea and was said to have reached a range of about 15 kilometers.

The military sources said Hamas has tried to establish Kassam missile facilities in the West Bank. In the northern West Bank city of Nablus, the sources said, Israeli troops found the warhead of a Kassam missile in a laboratory.

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