Armor: February 16, 2003


: Hamas' military wing detonated a large mine under an IDF Magach 7 (a seventh generation retrofitted M-60 Patton tank) at 8:30 AM, killing all four crewmen. The tank was traveling south as part of an armored column patrolling near the Jewish settlement of Dugit at the Gaza Strip's northern end. An armored D9 earth-mover tasked to detect and detonate any explosives preceded the tank on the road, but the 'dozer somehow missed this one. The mine was detonated underneath the Magach's left rear tread and set off the turret ammunition, which burst into flames after several explosions. 

Hamas took responsibility for the attack, which was their way of avenging the deaths of two of their "activists" earlier this week, killed near Beit Lahia in a clash with IDF troops. Hamas said the bomb weighed 55 pounds, while Israeli military sources estimated that it contained about 220 pounds of explosives (which was the size of three previous tank-killing mines). The incident is the fourth fatal command detonated mine attack on an Israeli tank in Gaza within the last year. As of 1998, the Israelis had 150 Magach 7's. - Adam Geibel


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