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Monday, November 26, 2012
Excerpts: Hamas rocket know-how intact 26 November 2012

Excerpts: Hamas rocket know-how intact 26 November 2012

+++SOURCE: Jordan Times 26 Nov.’12:”Hamas arsenal hit bur rocket know-how
intact”
SUBJECT: Hamas rocket know-how intact

QUOTE:”Hamas has valuable technical knowledge at its fingertips which could
be used to rebuild its arsenal”

EXCERPTS:GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories — The distinctive whoosh of a
longer-range rocket leaving Gaza set sirens wailing in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem
within minutes, as Hamas fighters broke new ground in the fight against
Israel.

And although the Islamists’ firepower was hard hit during its eight-day
confrontation with Israel, Hamas has valuable technical knowledge at its
fingertips which could be used to rebuild its arsenal.

In the first hours of Israel’s bombardment of the Hamas-run Gaza Strip,
officials said the air force had destroyed the lion’s share of the enclave’s
arsenal of rockets with a range longer than 40 kilometres.

“The army took out most of the rockets aimed at central Israel and thousands
that were aimed at southern Israel,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told
pilots who took part in Gaza sorties on Sunday.

“Once the campaign achieved its goals, there was no reason to continue it,”
he said in remarks relayed by his office.

But Hamas and Islamic Jihad still managed to fire at least half a dozen
rockets at metropolitan Tel Aviv, one of which hit a block of flats in
Rishon Letzion, and at least two at Jerusalem, which struck south of the
city in the occupied West Bank.

The strikes marked the longest distances ever reached by rockets fired by
fighters in Gaza.

‘ ‘ ‘

“To be able to make the enemy — the Israelis — suffer, looking for shelter
and screaming: That is the taste of victory for the Palestinians.”

The big question, analysts say, is how many rockets are left in Gaza beyond
the initial 10,000 believed to have existed before the confrontation, and
how quickly Hamas is able to rebuild its arsenal.

During the operation, the Israeli military said it struck more than 1,500
targets, including 19 militant command centres, 26 weapons manufacturing and
storage facilities and hundreds of underground rocket launchers.

Locally produced rockets

In announcing his acceptance of the Egyptian-brokered truce deal on
Wednesday[21 Nov.], Netanyahu said Israel and the United States had agreed
to work together to prevent the smuggling of weapons to Gaza fighters, “most
of which comes from Iran”.

According to a report published the same day in Israel’s left-leaning
Haaretz daily, Iran has over the past two years smuggled a number of Fajr 5
rockets with a range of up to 75 kilometres into Gaza via Sudan and Egypt.

“At the same time, Hamas and Islamic Jihad manufactured 200mm diameter
rockets — whose range is close to 80 kilometres — in the strip, using
know-how provided by Iran,” wrote the paper’s defence correspondent, Amos
Harel.

“Until now, roughly 10 medium-range rockets have been fired towards the Tel
Aviv area and the Jerusalem region. Most of these have been the improvised
200mm rockets produced locally in Gaza. Israeli intelligence believes that
only a small number of these medium-range rockets remain,” he wrote.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards chief General Mohammad Ali Jafari said the same
day that Tehran had not supplied Fajr 5 missiles to Gaza, rather had shared
the “technology”, meaning that such missiles could be “rapidly produced” in
the territory.

During the confrontation, militants from Hamas’ armed wing, the Izzeddine Al
Qassam Brigades, said they had fired 1,573 rockets at southern Israel,
including one called the M75 — a “locally made” rocket with a range of at
least 75 kilometres.

“Not all the longer-range missiles were smuggled into Gaza. The missiles
that struck Gush Etzion [south of Jerusalem] — the M75s — are not Iranian
missiles,” Abu Saada said. “This is a Hamas-made missile.”

“Even if Egypt [is] able to control the tunnels, [to] close them down, Hamas
will be able to manufacture its own,” he said, pointing out that Hamas was
managing to smuggle both parts and weapons into Gaza even before Israel
withdrew all of its soldiers and settlers in 2005

==========
Sue Lerner - Associate, IMRA

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