IDF seizes EFPs, RPGs, and other weapons from Hamas

The Israel Defense Forces displays weapons seized during a raid against Hamas in Gaza. The black “Shawaz” cone and disk-shaped EFPs and tan TC-6 land mines are shown on the left.

The Israel Defense Forces seized a large cache of weapons, including what appears to be deadly armor piercing explosively formed projectiles, or EFPs, from Hamas during a recent raid in Gaza. The presence of a large number of EFPs is a clear indication of Iranian support for Hamas.

Other significant weapons found in the Hamas cache include SA-7 shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles, RPG-7 and RPG-29 shoulder-fired anti-tank rockets , TC-6 landmines, and “sticky bombs.”

The IDF released photographs and video of the weapons systems on its website.

Black disk-shaped Shawaz EFPs, with tripod mount, and TC-6 mines. Image from IDF video.

Two of the weapons systems shown by the IDF, the black explosive disks with a concave face, and the black cone-shaped devices, appear to be EFPs. Two explosive experts contacted by FDD’s Long War Journal agree with this assessment.

Cone-shaped “Shawaz” EFP. Image from IDF video.

The black cones are identified by the IDF as a “Shawaz charge,” which are used “against armored fighting vehicles.” In 2008, the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Israel Intelligence Heritage & Commemoration Center identified the Shawaz charge as a “self-made EFP.”

The black explosive disks, which are not explicitly identified by the IDF as EFPs, are described as a “dome spray charge.” These black disks, which have a concave metal face plate, have the characteristics of an EFP. As the explosive is detonated behind the conical plate, it is liquified and creates a molten jet that pierces armor.

These black explosive disks are mounted to a “dedicated tripod,” according to the IDF. The disk devices shown by the IDF are nearly identical to EFPs promoted by Hamas’s Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades on July 15, 2023. The Qassam Brigades, which also calls these devices a Shawaz charge, claimed it detonated a Shawaz charge, which was placed on a tripod, against an Israeli armored vehicle in Jenin in the West Bank last summer.

An IDF EOD soldier stands with the Hamas weapons cache.

The quantity of EFPs found during the IDF raid in Gaza indicates that Hamas has one or more factories and are producing a large number of the weapons. The manufacturing of EFPs requires a machine shop and technical and explosive expertise.

EFPs have been used with deadly effect against U.S., British, and Iraqi forces in Iraq. Iraqi Shia militias such as Hezbollah Brigades, Asaib Ahl al Haq, and the Mahdi Army, killed hundreds of American soldiers with EFPs from 2003 to 2011.

The Shia militias were trained by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and Hezbollah. Iran directed Hezbollah to send Mussa Ali Daqduq, a senior military commander, to mold the Shia terror groups into a potent fighting force on par with Lebanese Hezbollah. Daqduq, who was in U.S. custody from 2007 until he was freed in 2011, admitted as much during interrogations.

Hezbollah and the IRGC also trained the Iraqi Shia militias to manufacture and deploy EFPs against U.S. and allied troops. During its presence in Iraq, the U.S military found numerous EFPs and EFP factories during raids against the Shia terror groups.

Hamas’ possession of EFPs and the existence of EFP factories is a strong indication of support from both Hezbollah and Iran. EFPs are known as a signature weapon of Iranian proxies and clients. As the IDF prepares for a likely ground offensive to root out Hamas and its allies, EFPs, landmines, rocket-propelled grenades, and other weapons pose a significant threat to Israeli armor and troops.

Joe Truzman is a research analyst at FDD's Long War Journal focused primarily on Palestinian militant groups and Hezbollah. Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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