Spyer said Hamas would deploy anti-tank missiles and improvised explosive devices in a bid to maintain an Israeli casualty rate of up
to 10 soldiers and civilians a day in any military invasion of the Gaza
Strip. He said such a casualty rate could force Israel to agree to a
As a result, Hamas has procured and trained on a range of missiles.
Spyer cited the Russian-origin AT-3 Sagger, AT-4 Spigot, AT-5 Spandrel and
Hamas was also said to have smuggled a large number of advanced RPG-29
rocket-propelled grenade systems. The RPG-29 Vampir, with a range of 500
meters, could penetrate reactive armor on Israel's Merkava Mk-4 main battle
tank. The Vampir is regarded as far superior to the legacy RPG-7.
[Officials said a Hamas training camp was rocked by an explosion in the
central Gaza Strip. They said at least two people were killed and two others
were injured in the bombing on Tuesday.
"They were conducting a holy mission," a Hamas statement said.
The official said the blast was the result of the accidental detonation
of explosives in the camp near Khan Yunis. Hamas units have been trained in
the assembly and operation of bombs and mines.
The camp was established in the former Israeli settlement bloc of Gush
Katif. In 2005, Israel expelled the 8,000 Jews as part of the nation's
unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.]
In June, Hamas accelerated training and expanded a Hizbullah-type
irregular force. Syper said "extensive recruitment has been taking place in
the past month," with cadets absorbed into Hamas's military wing, Izzedin
Kassam as well as the Executive Force. He said about 1,000 Hamas fighters
have been trained in Iran and Syria in the spring of 2008.
"Hamas is seeking to create a solid shield around its Gaza fiefdom that
can be turned into a weapon of attack at a time and situation of its
choosing," Spyer said.
Spyer said Hamas was also producing Iranian-designed explosively-formed
penetrators. He cited the Shawaz EFP, designed to penetrate 20 centimeters
Hamas has also sought to accumulate an arsenal of surface-to-air
missiles. The Israeli military has assessed that Hamas has at least 60 SA-7
"Imports from Iran and Syria and local production are all playing a role
in the movement's development of its arsenal," Spyer said.
[On Tuesday, Israel announced the arrest of a Hamas cell from the West
Bank that was planning to launch an attack with chemical weapons. Officials
said the four-member cell produced a bomb discovered in Tel Aviv in
September 2007 and meant for a suicide attack.]