photo:Aviram Zino
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photo:Aviram Zino

Report: Long-range missiles smuggled into Gaza

Palestinian operatives say breached Gaza border enables smuggling of RPG, anti-tank, Katyusha rockets into Strip; warns Hamas may resume 'height of intifada'

Palestinian operatives confirmed Thursday that many advanced weapons have been smuggled into the Gaza Strip over the past few weeks and even more so since the border between Gaza and Egyptian Rafah has been breached.


Among the weapons which have made their way into Gaza are RPG, anti-tank and Katyusha rockets.

"We have been able to bring the same rockets used by Hizbullah to destroy Israeli tanks in the (Second) Lebanon War, into the strip," boasted an operative of one of the organizations in Gaza.


According to the source, the organization has been able to obtain RPG rockets, as opposed to the self-made and pseudo-RPG rockets used in the Strip.


The source refused to say whether or not long-range missile have found their way into Gaza; opting instead to say that regardless of the events in the Rafah Crossing "the Palestinians are constantly trying to increase rocket range, and many (long-range rockets) have already landed in Israel, even if the enemy doesn't publish it."


Shin Bet Chief Yuval Diskin warned the cabinet Sunday of "advanced weapons, including long-range missiles, anti-tank, anti-aircraft missiles and other materials which are usually hard to get into the Strip, have found their way into Gaza as a result of the breached border."


Palestinian sources reported Thursday morning that a schoolteacher was killed and three students wounded, when an IAF missile hit a school in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun. The IDF said the fire was aimed at a Qassam cell operating in the area.


Earlier, six Hamas and one Islamic Jihad operatives were killed in a combined IAF, Golani and armor forces operation in Gaza, responding to a heavy Qassam salvo which hit the western Negev on Wednesday and Thursday morning.


The cost of bombing

According to Hamas media, the bombing of a Dimona shopping center Monday cost Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades just NIS 50 (about $14) – the fare for the two suicide bombers from Hebron to Dimona.

Mohammad Herbawi and Shadi Zghayer, reported Hamas, were able to cross Israeli defenses and carry out their mission despite its complexity.


An operative in another organization, however, told Ynet it was likely the bombing was more expensive to carry out: "A standard 8lbs-10lbs explosive belt costs about NIS 1,000 ($270), and they used two… and anyone knowingly driving suicide bombers would charge up to NIS 5,000 ($1,300).


"Hamas is probably trying to minimize the cost in their reports to glorify the attack; but it was a complex, important operation, which most of all says Hamas is resuming its suicide attacks… this changes the picture altogether," warned the operative. "If Hamas lives up to its word, we'll see the return of the height of the intifada."


פרסום ראשון: 02.07.08, 15:06
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