Israel to deploy new tanks to Gaza

Tanks are equipped with new missile defence system in response to use of Kornet, tank-piercing missiles by Palestinians.

    The move comes at a time of rising violence along the Gaza border [AFP]

    The Israeli army has said it will deploy tanks equipped with a miniature missile defence system near the Gaza border, in response to the use of tank-piercing missiles by Palestinian fighters.

    Army officials alleged that Russian-made Kornet missiles are being fired on Israeli forces, and that they come from Iran, but provided no proof of these claims.

    The officials spoke to the AP news agency on condition of anonymity.

    Israeli military chief Lieutenant-General Gabi Ashkenazi told a closed-door parliamentary session on Tuesday that a Kornet missile had been fired at an Israeli tank for the first time earlier this month, puncturing the armoured vehicle.

    The missile did not explode within the tank, he added. He went on to say that the Kornet missile is the "most dangerous that we have seen on this front". 

    According to its manufacturer, KBP Instrument Design Bureau of Tula, Russia, the Kornet can puncture 1,200mm (47inch) thick armour at ranges of up to 5.5km. It is equipped with laser guidance and thermal sights, and its warhead has 10kg of high explosives.

    There was no Palestinian claim of responsibility for the attack described by Lt-Gen Ashkenazi, which a military spokesman said targeted a tank posted on the Gaza border.

    While Hamas declined comment on the allegation, it has made little secret of supplementing its limited arsenal with factory-made weapons bought on the black market and smuggled in through tunnels from neighbouring Egypt.

    Israeli defence officials say that the military will now move dozens of tanks equipped with the Israeli-developed Trophy missile defence system, which detects incoming projectiles and shoots them down before they reach the tank.

    The move comes at a time of increasing Israeli airstrikes along the Gaza border. Israel says that these are in retaliation for rocket attacks by Palestinian fighters.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Explore how your country voted on global issues since 1946, as the world gears up for the 74th UN General Assembly.

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.