Mr. Diskin said the weapons have a range of up to 25 miles.
“They continue to arm themselves both through production and smuggling,” Diskin said.
In a briefing to the Israel Knesset Parliament Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on June 15, Mr. Diskin said that Hamas and other Palestinian forces have acquired long-range rockets. Diskin said these rockets were capable of reaching Tel Aviv. “Hamas and Islamic Jihad have over 5,000 rockets with ranges of up to 40 kilometers, most of them home-made,” Mr. Diskin said. “Of those rockets, 4,000 belong to Hamas. They also have dozens of more technologically-advanced models that have been smuggled into Gaza Strip.”
Mr. Diskin, in remarks released by the Knesset committee, did not identify the long-range rockets acquired by Hamas. Security sources said the rockets included the Fajr-5, with a range of more than 80 kilometers. The intelligence chief warned that Hamas sought to acquire medium- and long-range rockets from Iran. He said missile components were being smuggled from Egypt via the vast tunnel network to the Gaza Strip. “Lifting the naval blockade [from the Gaza Strip] would constitute a very dangerous development,” Mr. Diskin, responding to the latest Western campaign, said. “A port in Gaza would be a major security breach, despite the option of inspecting vessels prior to their arrival.”
Hamas was also said to been working with Islamic insurgents in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. Mr. Diskin identified the insurgents as Al Qaida and those aligned with the Iranian-sponsored Hezbollah. “Sinai attracts Al Qaida [insurgents] who come from Iraq through Jordan,” Diskin said. “Terror facilitators from Gaza also make their way [to Sinai], as are those who help Hezbollah. The Sinai Peninsula is a vast area and it is very difficult to control who enters it.”
David Bedein can be reached at email@example.com.