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HAMAS militants claim to have destroyed over 75 combat vehicles of Israeli Army

In a recent escalation of the ongoing conflict in Gaza, the Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, reported the destruction of over 75 Israeli combat vehicles. These incidents, detailed in a publication dated December 10, 2023, underscore the intensifying clashes between Hamas militants and the Israeli Army. However, the Israeli government has not confirmed the destruction of Merkava tanks since the beginning of the conflict on October 7, 2023.
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Israeli Army Merkava tank (Left Side) deployed in the Gaza Strip. (Picture source IDF)

The Al-Qassam Brigades specifically mentioned targeting a military bulldozer, a Merkava tank, and a military excavator east of Khan Yunis, a city in the southern part of Gaza. Additionally, they claimed to have bombed a group of Israeli soldiers operating in the northern and eastern sections of the city.

In a strategic shift, the northern Gaza Valley became a focal point, with Hamas stating it targeted Israeli command rooms in the southern axis of Gaza City using 114mm calibre short-range rockets.

This surge in violence follows the breakdown of a temporary truce on December 1, 2023. Israel's response has been marked by an intensified bombardment of the Gaza Strip. Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Galant, acknowledging the rising cost of the conflict, admitted on Tuesday that the Israeli army has faced significant challenges and losses.

The Israeli media, on December 7, reported an increase in military fatalities, with the death toll reaching 92 since the ground invasion of Gaza commenced in late October. Hamas contends that the actual number of Israeli casualties is higher than reported, suggesting that Israel is downplaying the figures to maintain public support and avoid negative impacts on the government's approval ratings.

In the Gaza War, the Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, prioritized targeting Israeli Merkava tanks. The Merkava, a main battle tank of the Israel Defense Forces, is renowned for its advanced armor and protection systems. The focus on these tanks by the Al-Qassam Brigades was part of their strategy to counter the technological superiority of the Israeli military.

To achieve this, the Al-Qassam Brigades used anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs), which are effective against armored vehicles. These missiles are capable of penetrating heavy armor, posing a significant threat to tanks like the Merkava. Additionally, the group employed improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and land mines, which could be used in ambushes against Israeli armored columns or patrols.

Furthermore, the Al-Qassam Brigades also relied on their knowledge of the local terrain in Gaza to conduct guerilla-style warfare. This involved hit-and-run tactics, allowing them to strike unexpectedly and then retreat into the densely populated urban areas, complicating the response from the Israeli forces.

Overall, the targeting of Merkava tanks by the Al-Qassam Brigades during the Gaza War reflected a strategic approach to counter the military capabilities of Israel, using a combination of advanced weaponry and guerilla warfare tactics tailored to the challenging environment of the Gaza Strip.

According to open-source information, the HAMAS militants are equipped with Russian-made PG-7VR anti-tank rockets and Kornet anti-tank guided missiles that can be used to destroy tanks such as the Israeli Merkava.

The PG-7VR is a type of anti-tank rocket designed for use with RPG launchers. It features a tandem HEAT (High Explosive Antitank) shaped charge, a design that enhances its effectiveness against a wide range of targets. This design enables it to penetrate and cause significant damage to various types of tanks, both heavy and light armored vehicles, as well as structures made of reinforced concrete and brick. Additionally, it is effective against enemy personnel located within buildings and fortifications. One of the key advantages of the PG-7VR rocket is its cost-effectiveness, combined with its high penetration power and destructive capability.

The Kornet anti-tank guided missile is a sophisticated Russian weapon system, notable for its exceptional range and armor-piercing capabilities. It boasts an effective engagement range of up to 5.5 kilometers, allowing for long-distance targeting of enemy assets. The missile employs a potent tandem-charge warhead, designed to effectively penetrate and neutralize modern armored vehicles, including those equipped with reactive armor. Its armor penetration capability is formidable, exceeding 1,000-1,200 mm of Rolled Homogeneous Armor (RHA) after reactive armor, making it highly effective against even the most heavily armored tanks. The Kornet's precision and power, combined with its extended range, make it a critical asset in anti-tank warfare, capable of taking out targets at distances and with effectiveness that few other systems in its class can match.

Hamas Israel War 2023

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