Broadcast in 2008, an Al Jazeera International film showed how Mohamed Abu Muailek and his commander went about their rocket-firing duties.  The film, made by Paul Martin, is a revealing insight into the use of rockets in the clashes in or near the Gaza Strip between the Palestinians and Israelis.

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Rocket men




Over the last few months, Israel has been threatening to mount a large-scale invasion over parts of the Gaza Strip, in response to Palestinian rocket attacks on Israeli collective farms and cities.

As the governing authorities in Gaza, Hamas have refused to condemn rocket-firing, arguing they are a legitimate weapon of resistance.

The homemade rockets were first introduced by Hamas in the 2000 Intifada as a form of retaliation against Israel’s incursions.

But today, Israel claims that its continuing blockade of Gaza and its moves to reduce the Gaza Strip’s power supplies is a direct consequence of the rocket attacks.

Their actions are widely criticized for being collective punishment of the Palestinian people – but Israelis view the firing of the Qassam rockets to also be collective punishment.

While the civilian death toll from the rockets is low, the psychological price that Israelis are paying is clearly high.

A recent poll indicates that 64 per cent of Israelis want their government to negotiate with Hamas to broker a ceasefire.

Could there be an end in sight for the war of the rockets?

Paul Martin gains unique access to a Qassam rocket launching team in the Gaza Strip and the Israeli helicopter pilots charged with hunting them down.

Watch part one of this episode of People & Power

Watch part two of this episode of People & Power

This episode of People & Power aired from Sunday March 2, 2008 at the following times:

Sunday: 14:30 GMT
Monday (repeat): 01:30 and 13:30 GMT
Tuesday (repeat): 06:30 and 20:30 GMT

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