Weapons Highlight: Shawaz Charge

Combat footage coming out of Gaza has seen extremely close quarters combat between Hamas hunter killer teams and Israeli tanks, sometimes within only a few meters.

These distances, however, are often too short for RPG rounds to properly arm and detonate, so militants have shifted to the use of explosively formed projectiles (EFPs) that are placed next to or directly on the tanks.

In the footage above, cone-shaped charges known as “shawaz charges” can be observed, which are comprised of a shaped charge and a metal plate that is essentially turned into an armor piercing slug. These EFPs are locally produced, but are a signature weapon of proxies backed by the IRGC, such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and Shia militias in Iraq.

Hamas is well known for utilizing a vast network of tunnel systems to navigate the strip to position themselves near (or even directly next to as seen above) Israeli forces. The use of EFPs highlights a common trend in Israeli operations in Gaza, where armor appears to lack infantry support.