The Israeli Defense Forces revealed on its official blog Monday that Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists in Gaza were well prepared for ground fighting during Operation Protective Edge.
With the help of weapon smuggling as well as transport tunnels, Hamas was able to arm itself in preparation for the arrival of IDF soldiers.
The weapons pictured in the photos below were all used by Palestinian Arab terrorists against Israeli soldiers during the ground phase of the operation. Sixty-six soldiers lost their lives during Operation Protective Edge, with 469 more wounded.
“We did not confiscate civilian equipment,” Col. (Res.) Moti Zabarsky, the commander of the unit responsible for clearing the weapons found in Gaza, said.
“All of these weapons were used by terrorist organizations in attempts to harm IDF soldiers, but we were able to neutralize them in the field,” he added.
“As a result of the vast amount of weapons we seized, the terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip now need to invest in new purchases and therefore need more money," he added. In fact, world nations recently promised $5.4 billion to reconstruct Gaza, with many concerned that money will find its way into the hands of the terrorists running the region.
"When we confiscated their equipment and their weapons, we created a new burden they have to face before they become operationally competent again,” explained Zabarsky.
Hamas' attempt to regain weapons may prove harder thanks to the Egyptian army's destruction of tunnels along the Philadelphi Route, which severely affected the terror group's ability to smuggle weapons into Gaza.
Additionally, in recent months, several smuggling attempts have been foiled by both the Egyptian and Israeli navies.