Hamas threatened Israel with far more dangerous weapons than the Kassam rocket. IDF sources confirmed that Palestinian Authority terrorists have longer-range rockets,
The Hamas threat was similar to Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah's boast last week.
smuggled from Egypt.
Following a counter-terrorism operation in central Gaza on Monday, in which six enemy gunmen were killed by IDF ground troops, Hamas threatened that it may soon use weapons far more dangerous and lethal than the Kassam rocket.
Spokesman for Hamas, Abu Obeidah, stated, "If the Zionists are afraid of the possibility of the firing of rockets, they should know we possess far more dangerous weapons."
The Hamas threat was similar to Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah's boast last week that the Lebanese terror group has "surprises" in store for Israel. In his statement, Abu Obeidah also denied that the six terrorists targeted by the IDF Monday had fired a Kassam rocket on the western Negev.
IDF sources have stated that Hamas did not make an empty boast regarding its having far more dangerous weapons than the unguided Kassam rocket. Gaza-based terrorists have developed or smuggled to their operatives rockets with a longer range than those currently in use, according to IDF intelligence officials. Among the more powerful rockets in Gaza are Katyushas such as those deployed by the Hizbullah in southern Lebanon. The Soviet-made Grad-class rocket has a range of approximately 14 miles, within easy reach of Ashkelon, sources said. It also can carry about 13 pounds of explosives. At least three Katyushas were fired from Gaza by PA terrorists in 2006.
Intelligence officials have warned the government ever since the expulsion of Jewish residents from the Gush Katif area and the withdrawal of the IDF two years ago that Hamas has smuggled from Egypt a large arsenal of weapons.
In September 2005, Egyptian border patrol forces took control of the Egypt-Israel border in Gaza, known as the Philadelphi Route. Prior to the withdrawal of IDF forces from the border area, a fierce debate took place regarding Israel's dependence on Egyptian security for preventing terrorist smuggling. Politicians leading the charge against abandoning the border were MKs Binyamin Netanyahu and Yuval Shteinitz (Likud), while the plan was promoted strongly by former Defense Minister Sha'ul Mofaz and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (Kadima). During a Knesset debate on the issue in late August
Hamas has dug dozens of tunnels in the direction of Israel.
2005, Mofaz declared that the deployment of Egyptian troops in Gaza "is not a military threat to Israel."
Although ignored by the cabinet, Sharon's National Security Advisor Giora Eiland and IDF Gaza District Coordinating Office head Colonel Yoav Mordechai warned against abandoning the Philadelphi Route to Egyptian and PA forces. Col. Mordechai said at the time, "In theory, Bin-Laden could enter Gaza via the Philadelphi Road if we do not maintain control."
In addition to the tunnels into Gaza, Hamas has dug dozens of tunnels in the direction of Israel, which enable terrorists to stage guerrilla raids on IDF positions and communities near Gaza.