An anti-aircraft missile was fired from Hamas-controlled Gaza last week at an Israeli aircraft but missed its target, the Hebrew language newspaper Yediot Aharonot reported Tuesday.
According to the report the missile was smuggled in from Libya. Israeli authorities have worried that the missiles could be used against the Jewish state since an estimated 1,000 of them went missing from Libya’s arsenal in the aftermath of the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi.
The Russian made Strela-2 surface-to-air missile system can hit aircraft flying as fast as 1,118 miles an hour and at altitudes up to 7,500 feet.
According to military sources it is believed that after a relative lull in the conflict, Hamas is intending to escalate the conflict with Israel. Such provocations could signal their intent to do so. Commercial aircraft have already been told to avoid flying over Gaza.
Though this was the first report of anti-aircraft fire from Gaza aimed at Air Force personnel, the same type of missile was used by Sinai terrorists last year in a deadly attack on Highway 12, which runs along the Israeli-Egypt border, that killed 6 people.