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During last summer’s conflict with Hamas, Israel’s Iron Dome defense system saved countless lives by knocking down rockets launched by the Gaza-based terrorist organization. While the Iron Dome is invaluable in defeating powerful long-range missiles, the terrorist attacks that did the most damage were from shorter-range rockets and mortars. The Algemeiner reports that Hamas is now investing in short-range missile production in order to beat Israel’s defenses:
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Gaza based terror group Hamas is attempting to bolster its capabilities with shorter range rockets, that have a maximum range of 30 kilometers, in order to bypass Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system.
Seven months after Operation Protective Edge, the IDF’s Southern Command has concluded that the ongoing rocket trials being carried out by the terrorist organization are not focused on long-range rockets, principally because the Iron Dome system virtually neutralized them in the last engagement between the IDF and Hamas.
“Almost all of the trials being tested out to sea are short-range,” a senior IDF officer told Israel’s NRG news, adding that in recent months there were no long-range tests. “They are now working on improving their short-range rockets. I guess they learned their lessons and understood that Iron Dome will take down their long-range rockets. In fact, it has even become more difficult for them to smuggle these weapons into the Gaza Strip, since the tunnels and the Philadelphi Corridor are almost completely closed.”
The IDF is monitoring Hamas’ rocket experiments in order to gather intelligence, as well as develop knowledge on the progress of Hamas’ capabilities, and to see whether new rockets are being smuggled into Gaza or whether the production has become more domestic …
… Hamas, which has already publicized that it has returned to building up the strengths of its forces in anticipation of the next battle with Israel. Israeli monitoring of developments in the Strip reveal that Hamas is up to much of its old habits, like digging tunnels and building rockets launchers.
Thursday, March 12th, 2015 at 8:19 AM | Stand For Israel
Israeli security forces busted a Hamas ring in the Hebron area that was planning a series of terror attacks, including suicide bombings, according to a statement from the Shin Bet, Israel’s security service, on Monday:
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The Shin Bet said it arrested 11 members of the cell in January, and that the group had carried out a failed bomb attack on Israeli troops in the West Bank.
Along with the arrests, security forces seized two sub-machine guns and explosives the cell allegedly planned on using to target Israelis, the Shin Bet said.
The main suspects in the case were named as Suhaib Mamoun Saltan, 20, from Hebron, and his cousin Salam Abbas Saltan, 28, a Hamas operative, who had been convicted and imprisoned by Israel in the past and was also at one time held under administrative detention.
The security service did not release the identities of the other nine suspects in Israeli custody.
In the coming days the Shin Bet will finish transferring the case files against the arrested men to the military prosecution and has asked that they be detained until trial, according to the statement.
“The activities of this cell reflects the real threat from Hamas activities in Hebron and especially from operatives that have been arrested in the past and then returned to the terror pool,” the Shin Bet statement read.
Monday, February 23rd, 2015 at 2:42 PM | Stand For Israel
We recently reported on Hamas’ ongoing training of young people as its next generation of terrorists. Writing at the Gatestone Institute, Khaled Abu Toameh says that the transformation of Gaza into a terrorist training camp for children – while allowing the people of Gaza to suffer – is a crime:
For the past several months, Hamas leaders have been complaining that they do not have enough money to rebuild the Gaza Strip in the aftermath of the last war with Israel.
However, it appears that Hamas does have enough funds to train, arm and indoctrinate thousands of young Palestinian men and boys.
While thousands of Palestinian families who lost their houses during the war continue to live in public shelters throughout the Gaza Strip, Hamas recently established 18 camps for military training.
The Hamas military training camps, under the motto “Vanguards of Liberation,” have attracted some 17,000 Palestinian males aged 15-21. The young recruits were trained how to use various types of weapons, including pistols, rifles and mortars. They were also “educated” about the need to eliminate Israel and “restore Palestinian rights…”
If Hamas has the resources to fund and arm a new “Liberation Army” consisting of 17,000 fighters, why does it continue to demand that the international community allocate billions of dollars for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip? The money that was spent on the “Vanguards of Liberation” training camps could have solved the problems facing thousands of Palestinian families who lost their homes during last summer’s war (Operation Protective Edge).
But Hamas, which is first and foremost responsible for the tragedy of these families, is not interested in taking any part in the efforts to rebuild destroyed homes. Instead, Hamas seems to be more determined than ever to continue raising new generations of Palestinians on jihad and hatred.
Hamas has turned the Gaza Strip into a huge training camp for jihadis and militiamen affiliated not only with it, but also with the Islamic State. By forming a new army that consists mostly of teenagers,…Read More » Comments (4) »
Wednesday, February 18th, 2015 at 8:52 AM | Stand For Israel
Operation Protective Edge put a dent in much of Hamas’ terrorist capabilities in Gaza, but that does not mean that the terror organization has stopped its plans to attack Israel. Just cleared for publication, the IDF reports that less than a month ago, it intercepted three terrorists trying to smuggle weapons materials into Gaza:
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On January 19, IDF forces identified a suspicious boat making its way towards the Gaza Strip. The navy, in conjunction with the Israel Security Agency (ISA), intercepted the vessel after requesting that the passengers stop the boat.
The craft was disguised as a fishing boat, but underneath the fishing gear liquid fiberglass was concealed. The liquid fiberglass was intended for Hamas and meant to be used in the manufacturing of rockets and mortars …
The three suspects, Mahmed Bechar, Ahmed Zaidi and Awad Zaidi, were arrested and interrogated by the ISA. During the interrogation, the suspects admitted that they were sent to collect the manufacturing materials from the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt and to deliver the liquid fiberglass to Hamas’ military wing.
Furthermore, the three men provided detailed information about previous weapon smuggling activities and how Hamas intended to use the fishermen and smugglers for future smuggling attempts.
Thursday, February 12th, 2015 at 9:47 AM | Stand For Israel
Operation Protective Edge, last summer’s conflict in Gaza, found the IDF putting a dent in much of Hamas’ terror capabilities. But despite the defeat the terrorist organization took, The Times of Israel’s Mai Yaghi reports that thousands of Gaza’s young people are being trained as the group’s next generation of Hamas terrorists:
Hatem is only 14 but has already lived through three wars with Israel. Now the young Gazan says he is making sure he’ll be ready to fight in the next one …
“I will become a resistance fighter,” the boy said proudly during a graduation ceremony in Gaza.
Hatem is one of 17,000 youngsters who graduated late last month from two military training camps where Hamas — the de facto power in Gaza — said it was preparing the next generation to fight against Israel.
Last summer, Israel and Hamas fought a 50-day war that killed nearly 2,200 Palestinians and 73 people, including 66 soldiers, on the Israeli side. Israel maintains that up to half of those killed in Gaza were Hamas fighters.
It was their third conflict in less than five years, following an eight-day conflict in 2012 and a 22-day war in late 2008 and early 2009. Hamas seeks the destruction of Israel.
Children were on the frontline of the latest conflict, with UN figures showing about 500 were killed in Gaza. Jerusalem blamed Hamas for all civilian fatalities, since it placed its rocket launchers and cross-border tunnel openings in Gaza residential areas.
Just five months after the war ended, thousands of those who survived signed up to join the Hamas training camps.
“I want to join the Qassam Brigades because they are the strongest in Gaza,” said 15-year-old Mohammed Abu Harbid, who also took part in the training.
With the humanitarian situation in post-war Gaza growing steadily worse, a fresh flare-up with Israel seems likely, some say.
And with many schools being used to shelter the displaced and unemployment standing at 41 percent, many youngsters were eager to join the camps.
Hamas insists that teaching children how to carry…Read More » Comments (5) »
Monday, February 9th, 2015 at 8:31 AM | Stand For Israel
This summer, Operation Protective Edge put a dent in Hamas’ terror capabilities in Gaza. However, The Jerusalem Post’s Yaakov Lappin reports that the terrorist group is quickly rebuilding its forces:
Hamas and allied terrorist organizations in Gaza have spent recent months intensively rebuilding their guerrilla terrorist capabilities, which sustained significant damage during Operation Protective Edge last summer.
“Their aim is to recover the military infrastructure that was damaged and return it to full capabilities and broaden it,” according to a recent report by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center in Tel Aviv, which is a part of the Israeli Intelligence Heritage and Commemoration Center, founded by leading members of the Israeli intelligence community.
To that end, Hamas has allocated the necessary funds, personnel, and equipment, despite the shortages suffered by the civilian sector in the Strip, the study found. Its domestic security bodies are part of the effort.
“This stands out especially against the background of the ongoing delay in the civilian recovery of the Gaza Strip,” the report said, adding that it “illustrates well that, as in the past, Hamas’s priorities clearly lie in rebuilding military capabilities at the expense of civilian needs.”
Dr. Reuven Erlich, head of the Terrorism and Intelligence Center, told The Jerusalem Post, “We see that when it comes to military programs, resources flow without a problem.
This is no coincidence. If their priority was in civilian reconstruction, would they allocate their few resources to offensive military programs?
Hamas in Gaza is using mass media to safeguard and strengthen support among the Gazan public for its military wing and to propagate the idea of “armed resistance,” while indoctrinating children and teenagers, the report’s authors said.
The center reported observing in recent months a large recruitment program of teenagers aged 15 to 21 and their deployment to training camps opened by Hamas’s Izzadin Kassam Brigades.
More than 17,000 youths trained in the camps, according to the report, undergoing basic military training, and then advanced training in kidnapping soldiers and tunnel…Read More » Comments (4) »
Wednesday, February 4th, 2015 at 9:50 AM | Stand For Israel
During Operation Protective Edge, the IDF put an end to many of the terror tunnels that Hamas had built in order to attack Israel. Since the end of this past summer’s war, international efforts to help rebuild Gaza after the devastating conflict have begun. However, The Times of Israel reports that cement intended for civilian reconstruction is instead being used to repair the terrorist organization’s tunnels:
The Hamas terror group has been redoubling its efforts to restore the cross-border offensive tunnels that were destroyed by Israel during last summer’s war in the Gaza Strip, Israeli media reported Friday morning.
According to the reports, some of the cement and other materials being delivered to the coastal Palestinian territory, as part of an international rebuilding effort, has been diverted to the tunnels.
Hamas has realized that the tunnels, which were used to stage attacks on Israeli military targets during the war, provide it with a psychological edge over residents of Israeli border towns in the area …
The Gaza group has also begun restocking its depleted rocket arsenal, the Hebrew media reports said. Some rockets are imported through smuggling tunnels from Egypt and others are manufactured in the Strip. Many of the smuggling tunnels — one of Hamas’s main sources of revenue — were still open for business, despite massive efforts by Egypt to crack down on them.
According to the reports, Hamas has acknowledged the limited efficacy of its mid- and longer-range rockets, many of which were shot down by Israel’s Iron Dome defense system during the war, inflicting very limited civilian casualties. Meanwhile, Hamas has recognized the deadliness of mortar shells, which fall short of Iron Dome’s range.
One new approach that Hamas has been considering in an effort to extend its effective range is to launch large volleys of rockets that would challenge Iron Dome’s ability to fire interceptors in rapid succession, the reports said. It has also been conducting tests, lobbing dozens of rockets into the Mediterranean Sea in recent weeks, according to Ynet, which cited Palestinian Gaza sources in its…Read More » Comments (3) »
Friday, December 19th, 2014 at 11:39 AM | Stand For Israel
In today’s Daily Dispatch we report on two alarming incidents – a rocket from Gaza landed in Israel today, and Hamas is using the building materials meant for Gaza’s reconstruction in order to repair their terror tunnels. As Yaakov Lappin writes for Gatestone Institute, it looks like the next conflict in Gaza may be on its way:
More than three months have passed since the end of the fifty-day conflict between Hamas in Gaza and Israel this past summer, yet all of the catalysts that helped spark that war remain in place and are pushing the sides into their next clash.
One of the reasons Hamas launched a war in July this year was to try to end its strategic isolation, which became severe after the downfall of the Muslim Brotherhood in next-door Egypt. Hamas also sought to improve its crumbling economic situation as the ruler of the Gaza Strip; its dire situation was illustrated by Hamas’s inability to pay 40,000 of its Gazan employees their monthly salaries.
Hamas could, with a fair amount of ease, cause Israel to end its security blockade by accepting the terms of the international Quartet. These would include recognizing the state of Israel, renouncing violence and abiding by previous diplomatic agreements. Of course, those would contravene Hamas’s ideology of Islamist jihad and move it away from its current trajectory of organized violence and religious hatred, the foundations upon which it was established in the 1980s by Palestinian members of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Today, however, the same problems that plagued Hamas prior to the summer war have become worse. Gaza is hemmed in to the south by a hostile Egypt under the rule of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. Egypt is systematically cutting off the smuggling tunnels that linked Sinai to the Gaza Strip. This means that Hamas is no longer easily able to smuggle either weapons or goods it can tax before they enter Gaza’s market …
Hamas has, since the moment that hostilities ended in…Read More » Comments (8) »
Friday, December 19th, 2014 at 8:39 AM | Stand for Israel