Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Hezbollah Uses Mass-Kill Rockets


Hezbollah Uses Mass-Kill Rockets
Kenneth R. Timmerman, NewsMax.com
Tuesday, July 25, 2006

NewsMax contributing editor and Middle East expert Kenneth R. Timmerman is in Israel covering the conflict there. He reports from Haifa.

 HAIFA, Israel -- The rockets Hezbollah is raining down on Haifa and much of northern Israel are distinctly different from the Soviet-built katyushas of earlier wars, Israeli officials say.

 Instead of standard military fragmentation warheads - deadly enough - Hezbollah's rockets are packed with thousands of tiny ball-bearings, which burst out from the warhead in every direction like so many bullets.

 "This kind of rocket gives no one a chance," Haifa police chief, Commander Nir Meriash, told NewsMax today.

Haifa is Israel's third-largest city, and since the rocket attacks began on July 12, nearly half its roughly 270,000 population has fled for safety to Tel Aviv and elsewhere in Israel.

 More than 1,200 rockets have hit northern Israel over the past thirteen days, killing 17 civilians and wounding another 410, according to the Israeli police.

Another 609 people have been treated for shock and minor injuries and released, said regional police commander, Maj. Gen. Ronen Dan.
 At least 60 of the Hezbollah rockets have slammed into Haifa over the past two weeks. Most of them have been 220 mm Katyusha-type rockets, made in Syria. Each rocket carries 40,000 deadly ball bearings, packed into a warhead with 40 kilograms (88 pounds) of high explosives.

 In addition, around a half-dozen of the larger FAJR-3 rockets have hit the Haifa area, including a deadly strike on July 16 that killed eight railway workers in a train maintenance depot.

 The FAJR rockets, made in Iran, carry a 110 pound warhead. But what made the July 16 strike so deadly were the tiny ball bearings packed inside.

 "Haifa has never been attacked like this," Meriash said. "These attacks are meant to kill civilians."

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