The intelligence community determined that Hamas has
intensified efforts to develop and produce rockets and missiles with a range
of 40 kilometers. They said Hamas production in the Gaza Strip had been
suspended during and after the war in January 2009.
“Within Gaza, Hamas is continuing to increase its strength,
manufacturing longer-range rockets and smuggling rockets of a far superior
quality,” Israel Security Agency director Yuval Diskin said.
In a briefing to the Cabinet on May 31, Diskin was not quoted as
elaborating on Hamas missile achievements. Until the 2009 war, Hamas
produced Katyusha rocket variants with a range of more than 20 kilometers.
In the wake of the Israeli war, officials said, Hamas sought to smuggle
Iranian-origin rockets with a range of up to 70 kilometers. But they said
Hamas smuggling efforts were hampered by Egypt, which shares a border with
the Gaza Strip.
Still, Diskin said, Hamas has been enhancing its 10,000-member military.
He said the Islamic regime has determined the need to counter Israeli attack
helicopters and main battle tanks.
“They are improving their anti-aircraft and anti-tank capabilities, and
expanding tunnels both for defense and offensive purposes,” Diskin said.
Hamas, said to be split between the military and political leadership,
has sought to maintain a ceasefire with Israel to ensure its military
buildup. Officials said the Islamic regime has arrested members of
Palestinian militias that have attacked Israel.
“That’s why the organization is curbing the rocket attacks,” Diskin
said. “There are even examples of operatives who have been arrested for
launching [missiles]. Hamas is responding to [Israeli military] activity
near the fence with mortar shells. But rocket fire that goes beyond that may
harm them, so they are operating within the limits of the border.”