The missile launcher destroyed by two rockets fired by an Israeli drone at Ajarah in North Sinai Friday, Aug. 9 was capable of firing 4 heavy Iranian-made M-75 missiles known as Fajr-5, which Hamas possesses, but not Sinai Salafists
Its 75-kilometer range covers Tel Aviv from Gaza Strip or Eilat from inland Sinai. The five terrorists killed in the drone strike were prevented from launching these rockets against Eilat airport Thursday by a tip-off from Egyptian intelligence to Israel. The Fajr-5 proved its high accuracy by leveling a building in the central Israeli town of Rishon Lezion on Nov. 20, 2012.
Since then, Hamas has upgraded the Fajar-5’s performance with an integrated radar system. It is carried by an Iranian made vehicle. DEBKAfile’s military sources have not yet established whether Hamas handed the Iranian weapon over to the Salafist Bedouin acting in concert with al Qaeda in Sinai before the Egyptian army placed the Gaza Strip under siege in early July, or smuggled it across more recently. Even though Egyptian forces destroyed many of the Sinai-Gaza smuggling tunnels ahead of their counter-terror operation in Sinai, they may have missed a couple.
The Iranian rocket, which is 10 meters long, 333mm diameter and weighs 9 tons, is based on a 302mm Chinese rocket sold to Tehran in the 1990s and reproduced as Fajr-5. To move it through the smuggling tunnels, the missile would have had to be broken down into 8-10 sections and then reassembled at the other end, a function only Hamas is qualified to perform. It is also possible that a terrorist cell managed to infiltrate Sinai in recent days and collected the Fajr missile system from Hamas, which is trained in its operation..
Neither Egypt nor Israel has provided any clues to the identities of the five dead terrorists.