Hamas Tests Improved Long-Range Missiles
Hamas is already preparing for the next clash with Israel and its military wing recently test fired improved long-range missiles, the Yisrael Hayom daily reported on Sunday.
The report in the Israeli newspaper was based on sources in the Palestinian Authority media.
According to the reports, based on information from senior sources in Hamas's military wing, the tests included the launching of two rockets with a range of dozens of kilometers.
The rockets were launched toward the Mediterranean Sea off the Gazan coast from a Hamas training base which is located in areas vacated by Israel during the 2005 expulsion from Gush Katif.
Hamas' rocket unit expressed satisfaction with the results of the test launches, Yisrael Hayom reported. The improved rockets were reportedly manufactured and assembled in Gaza using Iranian know-how.
This is not the first time that Hamas has used what was once the thriving Israeli communities in Gush Katif to carry out attacks against in Israel. Hamas has fired many of its rockets at southern Israel from areas that were once Jewish communities. One of Hamas's training bases is located on what was once the synagogue of the Gaza Jewish community of Atzmona.
In 2005, when the expulsion from Gush Katif was up for the decisive Knesset vote, MKs whose parties were in then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's coalition rejected claims by those opposed to the move that leaving Gush Katif would leave southern Israel under the threat of rocket attacks.
On the seventh anniversary of the expulsion from Gush Katif, which was marked this past summer, statistics indicated that Gaza terrorists had fired 9,393 rockets and missiles at Israeli civilians living on the other side of the border with Gaza.
Those numbers have since grown, particularly during several rounds of escalation, in which hundreds of additional rockets were fired at Israel. 1,506 rockets were fired at Israel during the recent Operation Pillar of Defense alone.
A special report by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center released this week shows that Iran, which has been supplying Hamas with weapons and rockets to use against Israel, is continuing to assist its terror proxy in Gaza and is expected to play a key role in rebuilding the weapons stockpile of the Gaza terror groups.