Israel war: Hamas used motor-powered hang gliders to infiltrate Israel

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Source: Telegraph, October 7, 2023

Hamas claimed to have entered Israel on Saturday morning using motorised vehicles attached to parachutes, in an apparent attempt to avoid air defences. #Hamas #Israel #Palestine

Footage released by the group purportedly shows militants crossing the border into Israel using parachutes with motorised fans to power them through the air. Some fighters had motors strapped directly to their backs, while others rode on small, three wheeled vehicles dangling from parafoil kites.

A video posted on social media shows militants wearing the crest of the Air Force division of the al-Qassam Brigades — the military wing of Hamas — and the Palestinian flag. The video shows four parachutes in the air, with one attached to a three-wheeled vehicle. After landing, the fighters are then shown raiding buildings painted with the Star of David, a symbol of both Israel and Judaism.

The vehicles are officially known as “powered parachutes”, while using an engine to glide without a vehicle is called “powered paragliding”. The gliders can be purchased for as little as £12,250 and are built from simple components including a small engine and seat bolted to a metal frame. They fly at up to 35 miles per hour and can take off from a short stretch of ground. Hamas’s use of powered parachutists appears to have allowed the group to evade Israeli air defences.

The Telegraph has not been able to independently verify the video or that the vehicles were used in the attacks on Saturday morning. Although the craft are mainly used by hobbyists, they have been used previously for military operations.

MilSpecPPG, an Australian defence company, has manufactured a version of the vehicles designed for military use. The company says powered parachutes are “ideal for covert operations” and are “virtually invisible at 800ft when painted in ‘duck egg blue’ with the same coloured wing”.

There is no suggestion the aircraft used by Hamas on Saturday were supplied by MilSpecPPG.