September 1, 2014 Special Dispatch No. 5830

The 'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades' Weapons And Units

September 1, 2014
Palestine | Special Dispatch No. 5830

During the recent fighting with Israel, the Hamas movement's organ Al-Risala published a report listing the units of the movement's military wing, the 'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, and specifying the weapons used by each.

The following are translated excerpts from the report:[1]

"The 'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades comprises six regiments. A regiment generally numbers 5,000 fighters and includes five battalions. The number of 'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam fighters is estimated at 30,000, and they are divided into many units and battalions deployed throughout the Gaza Strip. Each unit has defined missions and precise positions from which it sets out. The most prominent units are:

The Infantry Unit: This is the largest force in terms of the number [of fighters and amount] of equipment. It constitutes nearly 85% of the 'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades. Its job is to combat the enemy directly when it advances towards the Strip, to help Interior Ministry forces maintain the internal front, and assist in times of natural disaster… The infantry units are armed with Kalashnikov 74 [AK-74] and 103 [assault] rifles, Krinkov [submachine guns], M-16 rifles, Dragunov sniper rifles, in addition to PKC machine guns and hand grenades of local manufacture (the Al-Qassam Brigades have manufactured a quarter of a million grenades).

The Special Unit: This was one of the most active forces in this war [against Israel]. It conducts infiltration operations behind enemy lines and penetrates Israeli bases. It was responsible for capturing the [Israeli] soldier Shaul Oron several days ago. Its members are considered the pick of the 'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam [fighters]. They are armed with M-4, M-16 and Kalashnikov 103 rifles; FN-FAL and FN [F] 2000 [rifles]; Krinkov [submachine guns], the famous Russian Dragunov sniper rifles, the Steyr 12.7mm sniper rifles with a range of 2 km; RPG-7 and RPG-18 launchers; hand grenades, and explosive charges. In addition, its members are equipped with night vision binoculars and communications units

The Engineering Unit: One of the mainstays of the Al-Qassam Brigades, responsible for military production and tunnel excavation. This unit built an entire military infrastructure beneath the Gaza Strip, called subterranean Gaza, comprising a network of tunnels dozens of kilometers long. The tunnels are multifunctional. Some are intended for weapons storage and some for supply transfer. The most famous are the attack tunnels penetrating the occupied lands, which facilitate the execution of Al-Qassam infiltration operations behind enemy lines. Additionally, [this unit] manufactures the locally-produced Shuwaz-type explosive charges, containing 40 kg of powerful explosives. The basic weapon of the unit is total secrecy and constant development.

The Armored Unit: Responsible for contending with the Zionist armored vehicles and tanks. [Its] basic weapon is the RPG-7 launcher; the famous enormous RPG-29 launcher, which fires a tandem-charge rocket that penetrates armored vehicles at a range of 500 meters; Malyutka missiles with a maximal range of 3,000 meters; Konkurs antitank missiles with a range of 4 km; Fagot missiles; Kornet missiles that defeat [the Israeli] Merkava [tanks] and whose maximal range is 5,500 meters, and the personal weapons of the unit members, generally Kalashnikovs.

The Air Defense Unit: A new unit formed less than seven years ago. Its basic weapons are Dushka [DShK] machine guns with a range of 3,500 meters; ZPU 14.5 mm antiaircraft machine guns mounted on front-wheel-drive vehicles; PKC machine guns; shoulder-launched Strela SA-7 missiles with a range of 4,200 meters and unjammable IGLA SA-18 [missiles] with a range of 5,200 meters, equipped with a smart sensor that can distinguish between [target] planes and decoy devices. The most modern missile in 'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam's [arsenal] is the SA-24 Grinch, which is the most modern in the series of anti-aircraft missiles. It is capable of downing planes circling at an altitude of 4-5 km and overcoming decoy devices. British Javelin missiles with a range of 5,500 meters are also available to the unit.

The Artillery Unit: This was the most active Al-Qassam unit in the wars. It is responsible for manufacturing and launching the missiles. The first rocket it fired was the Qassam 1 [rocket] in 2001. Later it developed it into the Qassam 2 and then into the Qassam 3. Subsequently it obtained Russian Grad rockets and Lebanese Katyusha rockets. It surprised the occupation with locally-manufactured M-75 rockets with which it struck Tel Aviv. In this war, it surprised [the enemy] by firing R-160 rockets that struck the city of Haifa in northern occupied Palestine, [as well as] Sejil-55 and J-80 [missiles]. This unit is also responsible for firing the mortars whose important effects were to kill and repel the occupation forces when they entered the Gaza Strip.

This is in addition to other esteemed units of the Al-Qassam army… such as Military Intelligence, responsible for monitoring suspects and agents and executing them, and the Information Bureau, which issues military communiqués."

[1] Al-Risala (Gaza), August 23, 2014.

Share this Report: