Jerusalem – The Palestinian “Popular Resistance Committees,” based in Gaza, announced it has developed a missile with a range of 20 miles. Dubbed Nasser-4, the missile was displayed at a news conference outside Gaza City on Thursday.
The PRC, which is aligned with Hamas, said the missile was capable of striking such Israeli cities as Ashdod and Ashkelon from the Gaza Strip.
Until now, the PRC has been firing missiles such as Nasser-3, with a range of nine miles.
The new missile was said to have been produced at an unidentified facility outside Gaza City. PRC, with an estimated 500 members, took several foreign journalists to the site after they were blindfolded.
Israeli officials have acknowledged PRC, Hamas and Islamic Jihad efforts to extend the range of their missiles. They said these militias have used the current cease-fire with Israel – which began on June 19 – to enhance weaponry and training.
A report issued by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, located in Herzelia, Israel, on the Web at www.Intelligence.org.il, asserts that Hamas and Jihad have significantly increased training and weapons smuggling. The report, asserts that Islamic forces are undergoing advanced anti-tank weapons, naval training and special forces training to prepare for an Israeli invasion of the Gaza Strip.
“The lull in the fighting is used by Hamas and the PIJ to continue their military buildup and prepare for the next round of confrontations with the IDF,” the report, titled “One Month Into the Lull in the Fighting,” said.
“The intensive activities carried out within that context include smuggling weapons and ammunition, including mines, explosive charges and supplies for manufacturing rockets, such as pipes.”
“Since the beginning of the lull, weapons and ammunition have been smuggled into the Gaza Strip on a similar scale to the pre-lull times, despite an improvement in the Egyptian activity against the smugglers,” the report said. “Furthermore, Hamas has significantly accelerated its training activity and its military buildup, publicly announcing it on Palestinian and Arab media.”
David Bedein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. His Web site is www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com
©The Bulletin 2008