The recent Israeli incursion into the Gaza Strip, Operation Cast Lead, was prompted by the ongoing rain of Qassam rockets into southern Israel.
The Qassam is not a military weapon, but rather a terror weapon. It’s accuracy is far too poor for anything other than aiming at a town, as opposed to targeting a military installation.
As a result of the Israeli embargo of the Gaza, smuggling weapons in to Hamas has been difficult. In response, Hamas began production of crude rockets only slightly more sophisticated than the model rockets we can build in our homes. A Qassam is merely a steel tube filled with homemade rocket propellant and topped with a crude explosive warhead. It has absolutely no guidance system. The only “guidance” it has is fins at the tail, and an angle-iron launch rail than looks only slightly more sophisticated than a bent coathanger.
Being so crude, it doesn’t take much of a factory to build them, and you can see that it doesn’t take a huge base of operations to shoot them. Hamas has a particular affinity for launching Qassams from schoolyards, residential districts and of course, from the grounds of mosques. It is had for the Israelis to pinpoint launchers and storage spots. But they do…