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.

 

US troops to return to Mideast

Assad: Countries that backed terrorism can't defeat jihadists

Libya militants vow to continue ‘military operations’

Argentine President charges US could kill her

IS jihadists close in on Turkish border

Foreign jihad lures Tunisia youth: About 3,000 in Syria alone

Netanyahu to Ban Ki-moon: Probe into Gaza war ‘one-sided’!

Kurds battle to defend strategic border town in Syria

Iran Nobel laureate questions Tutu's silence on Dalai Lama visa row

Iraqi Kurds hope US-led air strikes can break stalemate

Israel settlers forcefully occupy 25 homes in East Jerusalem

Gunmen wound Saudi policeman in Shiite village in Eastern Province

Erakat likens Netanyahu to leader of ‘Islamic State’

Voters to choose among 27 candidates in Tunisia presidential race

Iran offers military equipment to Lebanon army

Iran extends compulsory military service to 2 years

Frustration grows over Huthi occupation of Yemen capital

US-led air strikes pound ‘Islamic State’ near Syria border town

Britain plans action against extremism ‘in all its forms’

Vigilante groups terrorise Syria refugees in Lebanon

Kurd troops launch offensive on IS on three fronts

Balkans clamp down on jihadist recruitment

Syrian refugees try their luck in Latin America

Indian PM warns US to repeat Iraq 'mistake' in Afghanistan

Israel PM warns Iran poses gravest threat to world

Kuwait strips 18 nationals of citizenship

Ahead of Tunisia elections, Ghannouchi appeals for US support

Israel deploys extra forces as two faiths mark major holy days

Egypt, Libya plunge in good governance rating

Saudi Arabia breaks silence on Huthi occupation of Yemen capital

Air strikes fail to halt advance of IS jihadists in Syria

Rival Libya factions meet for reconciliation talks

Iran-P5+1 nuclear talks ‘to resume’ by mid-October

HRW criticises human rights rollback under Erdogan

Syria's Nusra Front chief warns to transfer battle to West

Obama admits to making serious mistake: We underestimated ‘Islamic State’

Germany begins training Kurdish fighters from northern Iraq

Jordan takes ‘precautionary measures’ to secure borders

Egypt acquits 112 on charges of violating protest law

Shiite dissident dies in gun battle with Saudi security forces

Iraq forces repel IS attack on strategic town west of Baghdad

Russia raises suspicions about US ‘military interference’ in Syria

Yemen capital reels under control of Huthi rebels

Dubai Ruler: Victory over ‘Islamic State’ requires three bigger ingredients

Nusra Front threatens retaliation against coalition nations

Nusra Front urges Lebanon to negotiate for captive soldiers