First Published: 2014-03-10

Art according to Hamas: Rocket-shaped statue in Gaza City
Islamist movement unveiled rocket-shaped statue showcasing its capacity to strike arch-enemy Israel.
Middle East Online

How long will it remain before Israel turns it into rubble?

GAZA CITY - Hamas unveiled a rocket-shaped statue Monday showcasing its capacity to strike arch-enemy Israel, as Israel boasted its own haul of captured weapons it claims were bound for Gaza.

"Hamas managed to take the battle to the heart of the Zionist entity (Israel) after developing its rocket system, succeeding where many Arab armies had failed," said a leader of Hamas armed wing the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, flanked by masked fighters at the statue's unveiling.

The monument in Gaza City features a life-size model of a large M75 rocket, named in honour of Qassam Brigades founding member Ibrahim al-Maqadma -- who was assassinated by Israel in 2003 -- and alluding to its range of 75 kilometres.

M75 rockets fired from Gaza during the last major war with Israel in November 2012 struck areas around Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, almost 70 kilometres (40 miles) away.

The unveiling of the black-and-red rocket that points skywards on a stone pedestal came as Israel was showcasing a shipment of arms it claims to have captured on its way from Iran to Gaza.

Israel's military says it found 40 long-range M-302 rockets aboard the Panamanian-flagged Klos-C it intercepted in the Red Sea last week, as well as 181 122mm mortar shells and approximately 400,000 7.62-calibre rounds.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the seizure of the ship not only foiled the delivery of lethal weapons to Gaza but served to "expose the true face of Iran, which was behind it".

Iran has flatly denied any involvement with the shipment, but Netanyahu accused the Islamic republic of "brazenly lying".

Israel says the captured M-302 rockets have a range of 100 miles (160 kilometres), and could therefore strike anywhere inside Israel if fired from Gaza.

A Hamas official at the Gaza City ceremony said, on condition of anonymity, that in any future confrontation with the Jewish state, cities in the far north would be targeted.

 

Egypt lists Hamas as terrorist organisation

Yemen separatists suspend participation in UN-sponsored talks

Iran shrugs off Netanyahu bid to abort nuclear deal

Jailed Kurdish leader calls on followers to lay down arms

Iraq reopens national museum more than 10 years after looting

Scores dead as car bombs target crowded market in Iraq capital

Dozens dead as Qaeda takes strategic rebel base in Syria

UAE reopens Yemen embassy in Aden

Libya PM threatens new air strikes with Egypt against IS

Qatar takes full ownership of Porta Nuova

Roadmap finally agreed to end brutal Syria conflict

Turkey not placing high priority on fighting IS

IS militants destroy priceless ancient artefacts in Iraq’s Mosul

Aden becomes Yemen de facto ‘political capital’

Qatar emir committed to 'stability' in Egypt despite row

Rouhani adviser blames ‘extremists’ for rights violations

US-led coalition raids IS targets in northeastern Syria

IS executioner identity revealed

3 sentenced to death over Bahrain police killings

Hollande condemns French MPs for meeting Assad

HRW: Kurds preventing return of Arabs to disputed Iraq areas

One dead in series of Cairo bombings

UN Security Council calls for stepping up Yemen talks

Kerry: US, Iran have 'mutual interest' in defeating IS

Australian FM warns women against 'romantic adventure' with IS

Lebanese synagogue gets second life

Netanyahu speech to test resilience of US-Israeli ties

Austria adopts 'Islam of European character'

Tuareg chief issues plea for Mali unity

UN: Saleh amassed between $32-60 billion

Libyan FM warns country could be next Syria

Iran rejects US claims of role in Yemen crisis

French planes on Gulf-based carrier make first strikes

Top US official warns against Netanyahu speech to congress

Four French MPs meet Assad in Syria

FIFA cites 'problems' in worker conditions for Qatar World Cup

Mosque torched near Bethlehem

Egypt TV host faces trial for false bathhouse accusations

Turkey drives hard bargain over crucial missile deal

Obama nominates first US ambassador to Somalia since 1991

Obama praises Qatar as 'strong partner' in fighting IS

Saudi goes hi-tech against IS threat

Sisi grants Egypt authorities sweeping anti-terror powers

Algeria police prevent anti-shale gas protest

Turkey revives Istanbul canal plan