Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Hamas-Gaza's missile stockpile passes 10,000 - and going up
According to updates reaching debkafile's military sources, the number of missiles Hamas has managed to stockpile in Gaza passed the 10,000 mark in early May – despite Israel's partial blockade of the Gaza Strip. It is growing at the rate of some 30 new projectiles of many types smuggled in every two weeks. On April 9, the Palestinian fundamentalists shot 133 rockets at seven Israeli cities before Israel granted a ceasefire in lieu of an operation for smashing this arsenal.
Firing at the rate of 150 missiles a day, Hamas is currently capable of keeping southern Israel under constant attack for 66 days running.
When Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Security Committee May 30 about the Palestinian Hamas's expanding control of Egyptian Sinai, he omitted to mention the arms smuggling tunnels which openly flout Israel's blockade. The interaction between the Gaza Strip and Sinai and the effect it has of undermining Egypt's sovereign control of the strategic peninsula, which he also mentioned, is an old story going back years.
What has changed since Hosni Mubarak's ouster in February is that the Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoot Hamas have both gained traction in Egypt proper.
But Israel and its military continue to hold back from stemming the arms flow, now including anti-tank and anti-air missiles, into the Gaza Strip, just as they never interfered with Hizballah's acquisition of thousands of advanced rockets from Iran and Syria.