“SAM-7” missiles… Will the scales change in any possible war between Israel and Gaza?
Occupied Jerusalem- Israeli analysts and researchers unanimously agreed that the firing from the Gaza Strip towards the security fence and the fall of two rockets fired from the Strip off the coast of Tel Aviv prove the fragility of the “calm” on the Gaza front, which was brokered by Egypt after the Battle of Jerusalem Walls.
Analysts view the launch of the two rockets and their landing off the coast of Tel Aviv, and the resistance’s targeting of the Israeli warplanes with two “SAM-7” anti-aircraft missiles, as another signal, threat or warning from the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas).
By firing sniper fire and wounding Israelis at the security fence and launching missiles towards the coasts of Tel Aviv, Hamas expresses the obstruction of talks to establish the “calm” through the Egyptian mediator, to intensify its efforts to increase the military strength of the resistance factions through joint maneuvers, intensification of weapons testing, and the introduction of equipment and mechanisms into service. The military, as another component of the armed factions’ work strategy and their preparations for the upcoming confrontation.
The danger of the “SAM-7” missiles – which are shoulder-mounted and anti-aircraft missiles – is that they have a double effect, due to their ease of movement and carrying on the shoulder, in addition to their ability to surprise enemy warplanes flying at low altitudes from 500 to 1500 meters These missiles can be launched within a few seconds, without any aerial reconnaissance being able to monitor or intercept them.
Many countries, organizations and armed factions around the world use the SAM-7 missiles that were first produced in the Soviet Union in 1968. These missiles also bear the Soviet name “Strela 2”, which means “arrow 2”.
“SAM-7” missiles force warplanes to choose one of two things, either to fly at low altitudes to hit their targets accurately, in which case they are within the target range of these anti-missiles and are hit and dropped, or they fly at high altitudes to be outside the missile target range.
The targeting of Israeli helicopters by two “SAM-7” missiles – according to the military correspondent of the Israeli Channel 13, Or Heller – carries a message from the air defense units of the resistance to the Israeli army that they have these anti-aircraft missiles.
Heller explained that the resistance factions refrained from responding and bombing the Israeli depth, but by firing “SAM-7” missiles, they showed that they could do something to counter the Israeli raids, and targeted with two Apache missiles without hitting them, in an indication that they could hit them in the future.
And regarding the Israeli military response to the recent rocket fire, Kobi Michael, a researcher at the Israeli National Security Research Center (affiliated with Tel Aviv University), says, “Israel’s fears of escalation and the pursuit of a broad agreement in the Gaza Strip lead it to build its thesis on economic improvement, along with efforts Egyptian mediation, to be a means to reach a settlement agreement.
This may or may not happen, according to the researcher at the Center for National Security Research, who adds: “But Hamas has a completely different set of considerations and logic. Although Hamas wants to improve the humanitarian and economic reality in the Gaza Strip, its concern is also focused on consolidating its legitimacy. Its popularity and the development of its military capabilities in Gaza and the West Bank to continue the conflict with Israel.
And the resistance’s firing of SAM-7 missiles at Israeli warplanes that launched a series of raids on Gaza sites indicates that Hamas has not changed its principles, convictions, or charter, and it would not be right – according to Michael – “for Israel to err in such an illusion.”
The same speaker believes that Hamas sees itself as the spearhead of the armed resistance that expresses the Palestinian national struggle for liberation and independence, and therefore it is assumed that “Hamas will continue to struggle for a violent confrontation with Israel and will choose to do so at its own time. Accordingly, Israel is required not to allow Hamas will dictate the rules of the game and the timing of the next round,” according to the Israeli researcher.
In addition to the “SAM-7” missiles, the Israeli army finds itself facing other challenges related to the arsenal of the resistance factions. The correspondent of the “Yediot Aharonot” newspaper for military affairs, Yoav Zeitoun, says that “in the next military confrontation, the task of the southern command in the army and the “Gaza Division” will be Tracking and monitoring of mortar launchers.
According to the estimates of the Military Intelligence Division “Aman”, the resistance factions in Gaza have – according to Zaytoun – “a total of about 200 reusable mortar launchers in the upcoming confrontation, where it is expected that thousands of shells will be fired at the soldiers deployed along the security fence.”
Not only that, says the Military Affairs Correspondent, “The armed factions have heavy missiles weighing 400-200 kilograms, and they can use them as a surprising weapon, as the factions were unable to launch them extensively during Operation ‘Guardian of the Fences’ last May.”
Military and security researcher, Lieutenant-General Yuval Bazak, believes that given the changing facts and challenges over the years on the Gaza front, the military tools must be updated and check whether the concepts, doctrines, and strategic guidance documents fit the developments of the other side and the facts and challenges posed by the armed factions.
Concerning arming the resistance, modernizing its weapons, introducing more arsenals, missiles and missiles into service, and whether this will change the scales of any future battle, Bazak says, “The next war will be different. ‘Protective Edge’ and the Guardian of the Fences.
Bazak, a researcher at the Yerushalim Institute for Strategic and Security Studies, added that “the results of Operation Fences Guard cannot be adopted as a reference for how to prepare for the next war, as the Israeli army has not faced some of the challenges presented at this stage on the Gaza front in particular for nearly five decades. And the other part of the challenges he never faced.”
Bazak asks, “Then, what are the challenges that will exacerbate in the future, and their impact on decisiveness and achieving victory from the Israeli point of view?” He replies, “Perhaps the most significant challenge is the threat to the freedom of action of the Israeli Air Force, which since 1982 has enjoyed complete freedom to carry out raids and bombings and to gather intelligence, and these capabilities are necessary for decisiveness.”
Bazak added, “However, the freedom of action of the air force and warplanes may be challenged. On the northern front, Hezbollah is building air defense capabilities that are expected to pose a challenge to aircraft and air raids, and this is what the factions in Gaza can develop, albeit with traditional defensive means.”
In stark contrast, the researcher in military and security affairs says, “He notes the weakness of the arm of the ground forces, and their diminished use in military operations and campaigns. In return, the Israeli army has deepened its reliance on the capabilities of the air force and intelligence, and these may not be sufficient in facing the challenges posed by the future battlefield.”