IDF troops in Gaza
Photo: AP
Brig.-Gen. Yossi Baidatz
Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Office

IDF: Hamas will attempt to increase rocket fire

Defense establishment believes that while operation in Gaza Strip has seriously diminished terror group's capabilities, it has not rendered it paralyzed

The defense establishment believes that Hamas will increase the rocket fire on Israel as long as Operation Cast Lead is in progress.


Monday saw over 30 rockets fired at Israel, while the IDF said that while the ground incursion into Gaza, as the entire operation, are meant to decrease rocket fire, it is unlikely so stop completely.


"The ground incursion is meant to diminish Hamas' capabilities and to create deterrence. Naturally, we have troops neutralizing launching pads, but the operation cannot bring about a complete halt in rocket fire all on its own," said a source in the defense establishment.


Rocket fire is one of Hamas' corner principles and its people will do everything in their power to see it continue, added the source.


"At the end of the day, what matters are the results we get after the operation ends, not while it's ongoing," said a military source.


"Hamas has really only a few ways to fight us and the assessment called for much greater shelling on Israel; so they are likely to continue with it until the very last minute."


Intelligence goals

Head of Military Intelligence Research Division Brigadier-General Yossi Baidatz appeared before the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Monday and said that the terror groups have been severely damaged during Operation Cast Lead.


"They're seriously hurt… the military wing is partially paralyzed and the rocket manufactory capabilities are diminished, but they're bouncing back… the decrease noted in rockert fire is a tactical move. Hamas is keeping the option to increase the fire of mortar shells and rockets," he said.


Baidatz also noted that Hamas' weapons caches, can maintain its fire on the home front for weeks.


Meanwhile, IDF forces operating in the Gaza Strip apprehended dozens of gunmen and terror suspects, the majority of whom were taken in for questioning in Israel.


The IDF intends on arresting as many gunmen as possible, in order to achieve two main goals:

  • Obtaining real-time intelligence – some of the men are suspected Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades' operatives, who can provide information pertinent to the ongoing operation in the Strip, as well as information which could prove valuable for future military needs.


  • Holding gunmen as prisoners of war – especially detainees who are known terror operatives. They may also be tried in Israel or used as bargaining chips in any future negotiation with Hamas.


Attila Somfalvi contributed to this report 


פרסום ראשון: 01.05.09, 18:54
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