Palestinian militant group Hamas has released a video which it claims shows its fighters using a locally made sniper rifle to shoot at Israeli soldiers. In the video, a masked Hamas fighter can be seen firing a supposed 14.5mm anti-material rifle, and the video then cuts to a frame showing what they claim are Israeli soldiers being hit, in the distance. The video continues with a a compilation of footage in which sharp gunshots can be heard followed by what appears to be soldiers being shot in the distance.
There is no clear indication to show that the Israeli soldiers who are apparently being shot are being shot by the rifle in question.
Watch the video below:
However, as my colleague Thomas Gibbons-Neff reports for the Checkpoint blog, a leading weapons expert says the rifle is Austrian-made and has been displayed by the militant group in the past.
“Hamas’ claim to have indigenously manufactured this rifle is totally false – from what is visible on the video, it’s clearly an Austrian Steyr HS.50 rifle,” Charles Lister, a visiting fellow at Brookings Doha Center who tracks weapons use in the region, said in an e-mail to Checkpoint.
Earlier Sunday, the Muslim Brotherhood said on Twitter that Hamas had announced producing a locally made rifle with a 1.25-mile range.
Hamas announces production of new 14.5mm caliber sniper rifle, Ghoul, with 2 km range locally made in Gaza 100% — Ikhwanweb (@Ikhwanweb) August 3, 2014
The video was released by Izz A-Din al Qassam, and published by Reuters, which said it cannot independently verify the footage.
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