When one of the leaders of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) was asked about the difficulties in combating the Qassam rockets launched by the Palestinians on Israeli settlements, he jokingly replied that the solution is to provide the Palestinians with Scud missiles, which Israel has learned how to bring down with Arrow missiles.
Who is stronger?
- Publish date:09/03/2011
With this realistic joke, the Israeli military analyst Ze'ev Schiffstarted his article, “No solution for Qassam Rockets” published by Haaretz, dated September 3, 2004.
This apparently ironic beginning, along with the title that betrayed despair, are sufficient to show the general feeling in the entire article, which, in one way or another, seems clear in the writings of almost all Israeli military analysts since the outburst of Al-Aqsa Intifaadhah (uprising). That is, the entire Israeli military system, with all its advanced resources, is unable to confront the primitive weapons used by the resistant Palestinians.
The writer comes to that conclusion by reviewing the great challenge of the rockets developed by ‘Izz Ad-Deen Al-Qassaam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing, which has become a source of continuous disturbance to the Zionist settlers and the Israeli security and military devices.
He admits that, “The speedy blast-off of the Qassam rockets -- less than a minute -- to targets, which spread over wide areas, makes it difficult to shoot down, even though Israel possesses advanced systems that were designed to quickly locate the launching site of other rockets (like Katyusha).”
He refers to the fact that Qassam’s range is now 8 kilometers, but there is evidence that in the future, the Palestinians might be able to get other rockets with a range of 20 kilometers or more, which makes it possible to affect targets farther in depth and effect.
The writer appreciates the efforts made by the Israeli military devices to find solutions for the continuous threat of the Qassam rockets, such as destroying the blacksmith workshops in the Gaza Strip, thought to be the places where these rockets are manufactured. However, he admits that “even though many of them have been hit, the Palestinians are continuing to manufacture rockets.”
Ze'ev Schiff is right when he says that the suffering of Israel does not differ from the suffering of the American forces in Iraq, and earlier in other places in the world.
In a tone of virtual lamentation, he admits that, “Israel has learned what the United States learned in the Vietnam War and both Gulf wars that even the most advanced technology has difficulty dealing with primitive weapons.”
In fact, the chronic problems faced by the Israeli military analysts are but one aspect of a deeper crisis of the Zionist state, the consciousness of which is increasing day after day among different sets of Zionist settlers on Palestinian territories. In spite of being apparently relegated behind the temporary successes made by the Israeli military weapons, like assassinating one or more Palestinian leaders, detaining hundreds of resistant Palestinians, bringing to naught a fedayee operation here or there, invading Palestinian villages and cities and besieging them, destroying entire districts, or ruining wide areas of land, the 'crisis' continues. This crisis is the Palestinian people’s capability of inventing and developing new ways of struggle, that challenge the most advanced Zionist military achievements, along with the security theories underlying them. However, the most dangerous aspect of this crisis is that there is no visible way out. All methods of assault and maltreatment have failed to break the will of resistance of the Palestinian people, or frustrate them from going on with the struggle for the restoration of their legitimate rights.
Al-Qassam rockets are among the distinctive features of the qualitative development achieved by the Palestinian Intifaadhah, which, at the same time, reflect some characteristics of creativity unleashed by the Intifaadhah which came to represent a disturbing obsession to the Zionist settler. The rockets are no more than grenades, manually made inside houses, with no need for a developed manufacturing structure, or complicated production requirements, or even special experience, which makes it easier for different sets and ages of the community to be involved in the production process, and more difficult (for the Israelis) to follow or even hold back the stages of manufacturing. The grenades consist of a mixture of sugar, oil, alcohol, and organic fertilizers – all of which are available in almost every house, and used for many purposes, and one cannot be regarded as a criminal just for getting hold of them. However, the expansion of the elementary structure of this industry in such a way makes it difficult, if not impossible, to exterminate.
More importantly, the manufacturing process with such specifications is a part of the everyday routine of the Palestinian citizen, be it a man, a woman or even a child; and a symbol of insistence on contribution, even with a small share, in the renewed continuous act of Intifaadhah. The turning of Intifaadhah into a daily reality was the most prominent achievement of the first Palestinian Intifaadhah in 1987. Then, Al-Aqsa Intifaadhah was a continuation of the same method, utilizing the accumulated life and struggle experiences throughout the years of resistance.
Al-Qassam rockets were not the only feature of this qualitative development. A mention may be made here of the “Banna” rockets which Hamas started to launch in April 2004 C.E. and “Al-Quds” rockets, that Al-Quds Brigades (Arabic Saraya Al-Quds), the armed wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), announced to have launched almost at the same period. This development is also evident in the success of the resisting Palestinian people to destroy, with simple weapons, more than an Israeli Merkava tank, described as the most armored in the world, and regarded, until recently, as the symbol of the Israeli military force. A lot of Israeli military commentators said that the psychological and symbolic shock caused by the destruction of this tank exceeds the military loss, for it provides serious evidence that the strongest and most advanced military equipment could not guarantee security for the settler who believes that the land he usurped is a land without people.
The Israeli failure to confront the Qassam rockets and the other ways of resistance created by the Palestinian people during their relentless Intifaadhah brings to mind an old question; and although it has been answered many times by historical experience, it is intentionally ignored by those who volunteer to advise to Palestinian resistance groups to surrender. The question is: who is stronger at the end? Are they the invading armies that are armed to the teeth with the most advanced fatal missiles or the people that resist, armed with the justice of the truth, nobility of purpose and insistence on freedom?
Allah knows best.