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Hamas tests anti-aircraft missiles

Palestinian armed groups in Gaza are said to possess anti-aircraft missiles, but their capabilities remain limited.
Palestinian members of the al-Qassam brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas movement, stand guard as they wait for the arrival of Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip December 7, 2012. Meshaal, Hamas's exiled leader, will step onto Palestinian land for the first time in 45 years on Friday for a "victory rally" in the Gaza Strip, displaying his newfound confidence after last month's conflict with Israel. Meshaal, the Islamist group's leader, who has not visited the Palestinian Territ
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Palestinians in Gaza acknowledge that the Israeli air force has caused problems for them in previous military confrontations — problems that for a long time have remained without adequate resolution. Domination of the skies has afforded Israel a platform for achieving its major objectives, such as assassinations and elimination of weapons emplacements, at minimal cost. The armed factions in Gaza are determined to counter this capability through anti-aircraft missiles and are now in possession of a few versions, although in limited quantities.

The Al Mezan Center for Human Rights in Gaza puts the number of Palestinians killed by the Israeli Air Force at 911, out of the 2,269 killed, from 2008 until today. Most of these deaths occurred during the war waged during 2008–2009. In contrast, the 2012 confrontation saw 143 Palestinians killed by the Israeli air force, out of a total of 171 dead.

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