Fri 17-May-2024

The Hammer: Israel’s tool for executing massacres in Gaza

Wednesday 8-November-2023

The American bomb known as the “MK84” also referred to as the “Mark 84” has become a favored Israeli tool for committing massacres and causing destruction against Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip.

The bomb is referred to as ‘The Hammer’ due to the extensive damage it causes upon explosion.  It weighs approximately 2000 pounds (about 900 kilograms) and is a guided bomb with an explosive warhead. It was used in the Gulf Wars and in Vietnam.

According to a report by Al Jazeera it is likely that Israel dropped this bomb on civilians in the massacres at the Baptist Hospital and Jabaliya refugee camp during its ongoing aggression on the Gaza Strip in October 2023. Military experts believe that the impact and damage caused by the Israeli airstrikes in these mentioned locations correspond with the effects typically associated with ‘The Hammer’ bomb.

The “Mark 84” was designed to be a free-fall unguided bomb categorized under what is known as “dumb bombs.” It is the largest version within the “Mark 80” series of bombs and it has evolved in a way that allows gradual decrease in its speed to ensure that the warplane could distance itself from it as much as possible.

The “MK 84” bombs were used in the Second Gulf War during the operation “Desert Shield” with an estimated 12000 bombs dropped. They were released by aircraft such as the “F-15E” “F-16C” and “F-111F.”

The bomb’s name changed over time to “BLU-117” and then to “BLU-117B”.

Destructive Power:
Explosive material constitutes approximately 45% of the total weight of the bomb and it can create a hole with a width of about 15 meters and a depth exceeding 10 meters.

The bomb is capable of penetrating metal to a depth of approximately 38 centimeters and can penetrate about 3 meters of concrete depending on the height from which it was dropped and directed from. It results in fatal harm in its immediate vicinity with a blast radius of approximately 73 meters.

The Baptist Hospital
Officials from the Turkish defense technology company “Troy” affirmed in an interview with Anadolu News Agency that after reviewing and analyzing videos of the Israeli airstrike on the Baptism Hospital on October 17 2023 along with an analysis of the explosion’s sound and its intensity they concluded that there are indications that the used bomb may have been the “MK84” equipped with JDAM system.

The “Jdam” system is a set of multiple guidance devices that are attached to “dumb bombs” (unguided bombs) to transform them into guided bombs with a control unit that combines autonomous guidance and GPS positioning.

Said Arsuwi Berkli Oglu the director of “Troy” company added that the bomb contains approximately 430 kilograms of explosive material and its payload “can be extremely destructive if it reaches its target at the right angle.”

Berkli Oglu stated that the bomb can be filled with various types of explosives to enhance its effectiveness and the “hammer” contains HMX (a highly explosive and highly incendiary substance) and can easily penetrate and destroy an entire building.

He continued “Another possibility is that the bomb used is a bunker-busting bomb of the type ‘BLU-109’ and both of these bombs are in the inventory of the Israeli army.”

On the other hand the aforementioned information is documented on the website of the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency which specializes in providing “financial technical and military assistance” and more to U.S. allies. It noted that Israel requested the supply of some weapons in 2012 and among them were these two bombs which were confirmed to have been possessed by Israel previously.

“Troy” company operates in the field of military-grade warhead technologies small missiles and highly explosive chemical materials.

Jabalia Massacre
The New York Times reported on November 3 2023 that Israel employed at least two bombs each weighing 907 kilograms during the airstrike it conducted on October 31st. This attack led to a bloodbath in lines of civilians in the densely populated area of Jabalia located to the north of Gaza City.

The newspaper stated that it based its analysis on military experts and conducted an examination of satellite images as well as documented images and videos of the massacre.


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