Daily Israel Report

Hamas Obtains Anti-Aircraft Weapons in Gaza

IDF Intelligence Research Chief Brig.-Gen. Yossi Baidatz disclosed Sunday that arms smuggling into Gaza by the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority includes even anti-aircraft weapons.
By Ezra HaLevi
First Publish: 10/16/2006, 12:11 PM / Last Update: 10/15/2006, 11:30 PM

Baidatz's assessment is that Hamas plans to use the weapons against Israeli fighter planes in future armed conflicts, and eventually aims to use them against civilian aircraft as well.

The intelligence chief said that Israel must come up with a solution to protect its planes from the new weapons, or else imperil its entire aviation industry. It is known that PA Arabs are attempting to smuggle such weapons into Judea and Samaria as well, putting Ben Gurion International Airport within range of the missiles.

The same anti-tank rockets that were used to disable many of Israel's tanks in Lebanon have also been streaming into Gaza on a daily basis, making an IDF ground invasion of Gaza a much more perilous task. Hamas has warned that if Israel attempts to enter Gaza, it will be "greatly surprised."

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Miri Eisin said the weapons are being paid for and funneled into Gaza by Iran. Baidatz said that Syria has continued to smuggle weapons into Lebanon, and is making concrete preparations for an attack on Israel.

Prior to the implementation of the Disengagement from Gaza, the IDF controlled the Philadelphi Corridor between Gaza and Egypt, enabling teams of soldiers to identify and destroy weapons-smuggling tunnels on a regular basis. Following the withdrawal, in addition to week-long periods where the border lay open, tunnels have been built and continue to operate without obstruction.

Judea and Samaria Attacks Continue
Arabs shot at two Israeli security guards near the Atarot industrial zone in northern Jerusalem Sunday. The victims were lightly wounded and brought to Hadassah Ein Karem for emergency treatment.

A female terrorist was apprehended sneaking toward the Gush Etzion town of Bat Ayin with a large knife. The 15-year-old girl confessed to planning to attack residents of the town.

Cameras to Prevent Kidnappings
An experimental plan to protect hitchhikers in Judea and Samaria has been partially put in place and is expected to be fully implemented in the near future. The plan involves the placement of surveillance cameras across from hitchhiking posts along route 60, the main highway through Judea and Samaria. It comes in response to the kidnapping and subsequent murder of Eliyahu Asheri outside Ofrah and several other kidnapping attempts of hitchhikers over the course of the summer.

Illegals Apprehended
Over the holiday, Border Police apprehended 3,230 PA Arabs caught illegally inside Israel's pre-1967 borders. Two Israeli employers were also taken into custody, along with 13 other Israelis who assisted in transporting the illegals.