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Yemen's Houthi rebels fire 'Palestine' missile at Israel that resembles Iran's hypersonic weapon, report says

Cameron Manley   

Yemen's Houthi rebels fire 'Palestine' missile at Israel that resembles Iran's hypersonic weapon, report says
  • Houthi rebels in Yemen launched a solid-fuel missile, the "Palestine," at Eilat, Israel, AP reported.
  • The missile resembles Iran's Fattah missile that can reach hypersonic speeds.

Houthi rebels in Yemen said they had fired a new solid-fuel missile called the "Palestine" at the southern Israeli city of Eilat on Monday.

The missile is believed to be able to fly at hypersonic speeds and resembles one unveiled by Iran earlier this year, the Associated Press reported.

The attack did not result in any damage or injuries, per AP.

Footage released Wednesday appeared to show a missile, which Houthis claimed to be the Palestine, with a warhead painted in the style of the Palestinian keffiyeh scarf, being raised to firing position and then launched.

Pro-Palestinian supporters around the world have taken to wearing the chequered keffiyeh as a sign of solidarity with the embattled people of Gaza. The enclave has been subjected to an eight-month military campaign by Israel that has killed over 36,000 people, according to the Hamas-run health authorities. It was triggered by the October 7 terrorist attacks in southern Israel by Hamas that killed 1,200 people, mostly civilians.

Most Houthi attacks have been targeting ships in the Red Sea corridor with missiles and drones as part of a campaign that aims to put pressure on Israel and the West over the war in Gaza. Strikes by the US and UK have raised the stakes in recent months.

Israel's port city of Eilat sits on the Gulf of Aqaba, whose waters connect to the Red Sea, has been targeted 53 times since October 7, according to according to the US Congressional Research Service, per The Jerusalem Post.

According to the Arms Control Association, a Washington DC-based think tank, solid-fuel missiles "require less maintenance and preparation time" than liquid-fuel missiles because "solid-propellants have the fuel and oxidizer together, whereas liquid-fueled missiles must keep the two separated until right before deployment."

The Houthis claim the missile is "locally made," per the AP, though they are unlikely to be able to construct this level of advanced weapon, defense experts say.

Fabian Hinz, a weapons expert at the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, wrote on X that the Palestine missile reassembled the Iranian-developed Fattah 1 and the Kheybarshekan 2, both solid-fuel missiles.

Iran unveiled the Fattah last year. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) claimed the missile could achieve speeds of Mach 15 - 15 times the speed of sound—and had a range of 870 miles.

Missiles that travel more than five times the speed of sound are considered "hypersonic." According to a UK government research briefing, hypersonic missiles' speed, maneuverability, and altitude "may challenge existing missile defenses."

"So far, the ballistic missiles used by the Houthis against Israel appear to all have been less advanced liquid propellant missiles without terminal guidance," Hinz wrote on X.

"While we cannot say for sure what exact version the 'Palestine' corresponds to, we can say with high certainty that it is an advanced and precision-guided IRGC-developed solid propellant missile provided by Iran," the expert said.

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