Egypt’s closing of Hamas’ smuggling tunnels put and end to importing missiles & forces terrorist factions to invest more in making homemade weapons with better quality rockets.
By Alex Fishman
Hamas‘s military wing in the Gaza Strip is making a concerted effort to increase the range of its rockets by tens of kilometers.
The extra range will let the terror organization pull off deeper attacks into Israel, even farther than the Gush Dan region achieved during Operation Pillar of Defense .
Israeli security officials said despite Egyptian efforts to destroy the tunnels on the Egypt-Gaza border, a smuggling trail of raw material for rockets still exists.
Egypt’s forceful activities in the Sinai Peninsula and along the Suez Canal have managed to stop the smuggling of Iranian Farj rockets, which were used in Operation Pillar of Defense. However, terrorists in Sinai are still smuggling effective explosives into Gaza, which will help Hamas increase their rockets’ range.
During Operation Pillar of Defense in November 2012, Hamas fired five homemade long-range rockets. The rockets, called M75, had a range of 60-70 kilometers (37-43 miles), made by local Gazan engineers, are capable of reaching Tel Aviv. Egypt’s closing of the tunnels forced Hamas to invest more time and money in homegrown rockets, and since the operation, reports say they have made even more.
Despite Hamas’ budget crisis in the last two years, its two main projects to make fighting against Israel more efficient – increasing its rockets’ range and digging more attack tunnels – have not been affected at all.
IDF representatives said that if Hamas can enhance its rockets, Israel will be forced to rethink its air defense system. The Iron Dome’s effectiveness is naturally lessened as there are more and more rockets to intercept, and as rockets can reach regions that the battery is not protecting.
View original Ynet publication at: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4468548,00.html