The tension and conflict between Israel and Hamas are deeply rooted and complex, dating back several decades and intertwined with broader geopolitical and inter-religious tensions in the Middle East. Hamas is an Islamist militant group founded in 1987 and has been at the forefront of the Palestinian resistance against Israeli rule, particularly in the Gaza Strip.
The group’s primary contention arises from what it perceives as Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories, aiming for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state which includes the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem. Israel and the UN have labeled Hamas a terrorist organization due to its rocket attacks and suicide bombings, and holds reservations about the group’s ultimate intentions given its historical refusal to recognize the Israeli state.
The conflict has been characterized by periods of violent confrontations and fragile truces, involving not only Israel and Hamas but also influencing and being influenced by the broader Israeli-Palestinian conflict, other Palestinian factions, and international stakeholders. This tension is deeply embedded in a broader context of territorial disputes, religious significance, and national identities, making it one of the most protracted and complex conflicts in contemporary history.
Current Attack on Israel
On October 7th 2023 Hamas launched an attack against Israel with rockets, and boarder areas of Israel resulting in militants occupying the areas. The results of which are still unclear and different statements and reports have emerged.
However, what we do know is that over 1,100 Israeli civilians were killed and three times that injured. The number of Hamas fights killed is still unconfirmed, report numbers vary wildly on this estimate. Further thousands of Palistians in Gaza have been killed and more injured in retaliation bombings from Israel.
There are many concerns as both side prepare for the war to escalate.
Weapons Used in Israel
This armed conflict bring a wide range of weaponry into play. Civilians, humanitarians, and soldiers in conflict zones often face threats from bullets, shrapnel, and explosions.
In the various conflicts and skirmishes over the years, Hamas has employed an assortment of weapons against Israeli targets which include civilian populations and infrastructure. One of the most widely used weapon systems by Hamas is the Qassam rocket an unguided artillery rocket. These rockets, alongside others sourced or developed by the group, have been launched towards various Israeli localities, resulting in casualties and damage to structures.
Moreover, Hamas has used mortar shells for attacks, which are often aimed indiscriminately, posing a significant threat to civilian areas. Additionally, the group has historically engaged in suicide bombings and other forms of attacks utilizing improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in urban areas.
Anti-tank missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have also been deployed by Hamas to target Israeli military and civilians. The group’s use of subterranean tunnels to infiltrate Israeli territory and execute attacks is another tactic that demonstrates the range of operational strategies and weapon systems employed by Hamas in the conflict against Israel.
The complexity and variety of these tactics and tools make the conflict particularly challenging to navigate and resolve, with persistent threats to civilian safety being a notable concern.
Small Arms and Rifles in Israel
Hamas has been reported to employ various types of small arms in its confrontations and operations. The AK-47, or more correctly variants of this rifle are widely available and popular globally. Other firearms such as the PK machine gun and various types of sniper rifles, have also been used in confrontations with Israeli civilians. Furthermore, RPG-7s (Rocket-Propelled Grenades) have been utilized in anti-armor and anti-structure roles during conflicts. Hamas militants have also deployed hand grenades, pistols, and other compact firearms, especially in urban warfare and close-quarters combat.
Threat Profiles in Israel
7.62x39mm rounds is known for it’s association with AK-47s. It is an intermediate cartridge that hits hard and leaves devastating mounds, especially within 500 meters. The best armor against this round is level III rated body armor, and level III+. It will stop virtually all variants of this round.
7.62x51mm and 7.62x54R rounds
The 7.62x51mm NATO round is used in various firearms like the M14 and certain models of sniper rifles, alongside the 7.62x54R, have been recognized for their long-range capabilities and penetration. Protecting personnel against these rounds mandates body armor with Level III+ or IV rating.
5.56mm FMJ and M855 Rounds
5.56mm FMJ and M855 rounds are known for their velocity and penetration. These present a nuanced threat in the battlefield, especially considering the latter’s steel core. Level III+ or IV plates are designed to handle high-velocity rifle rounds and offer enhanced ballistic protection.
Body Armor for Israeli IDF
As with any conflict involving terrorism, civilians are the largest casualty. Protection for Israeli civilians is in great demand and great need. The same can be said for aid workers and humanitarians in Israel who need armor vests.
Reasons steel armor is the best option
Steel body armor has long been well known for its sheer robustness and durability. Particularly against threats like the 7.62x39mm rounds, which are known for their impactful penetration, steel armor can offer resistance due to its inherent strength and rigidity. While certain other materials may degrade over time or with exposure to environmental elements, steel retains its ballistic properties, ensuring long-lasting protection.
Given the economic considerations of require mass outfitting of personnel, steel body armor stands out as a notably cost-effective solution. When compared to ceramic or polyethylene armor, steel provides a much more affordable option, enabling large-scale deployment without a severely detrimental impact on the defense budget, thus ensuring a wider swath of personnel can be adequately protected.
Properly designed steel armor comes with a full frag-mitigation coat that will incapsulate pieces of the round if the plate is struck. In house we tested a steel plate against M855 5.56 and it took tens of rounds before the frag coating came off. The plate itself still stopped rounds, which a ceramic plate would not have been able to. We test every batch of armor and every batch of coating to ensure it will have the same effective performance.
Drawbacks of level IV armor
For Israeli civilians, humanitarian workers, and soldiers fighting this conflict there are many threats they face. While level IV plates will work against these threats, they are not the best option in this case.
- Level IV only comes in ceramic, which is brittle and can break with falls, explosions, and more.
- Level IV does not provide the same multi-hit protection as steel armor.
- Level IV will cost much more to get level IV armor and take longer because of the demand.
Medical and Supplies for Israel
Well staffed and organized areas have the ability to treat wounded, however this conflict has already escalated to the point of nearly 10,000 being injured. As important as it is for hospitals to remain staffed it becomes increasingly important for civilians to have life saving medical available as supplies are diverted to medical centers.
Simple tools like tourniquets save lives in everyday situations and war zones alike by preventing massive blood loss. First aid kits like IFAKS or IFAK pouches provide immediate medical aid for trauma-related injuries that can keep a person alive who might otherwise die before they can get to a hospital.
They will contain equipment like tourniquets, chest seals, hemostatic gauze, wound cleaning, and much more. Whenever a large scale event like this happens medical supplies are always desperately needed.
International Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid
The international community plays a pivotal role in aiding conflict-affected regions. Through humanitarian aid, and aid civilians can get these much needed supplies. Contact international organizations if you need to find out what you can do to help.
This already brutal and blood war has clamed the lives of thousands of civilian victims. Body armor, medical supplies, and relief aid will go along way to save lives as always.
You can help.
There are many organizations accepting a variety of goods from donations, supplies, medical equipment, body armor, services, and much more.