Free Headline Alerts     
Worldwide Web


Tuesday, July 5, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Report cites increased arms, military capability by Hamas and Palestinian militias

WASHINGTON — The Hamas regime has increased its military prowess in the war against Israel, a report said.


The Washington Institute for Near East Policy asserted that Hamas and Palestinian militias were enhancing weapons and other capabilities. In a report by defense analyst Jeffrey White, the institute cited a range of new weapons acquired by Hamas over the last year.

"A third military component of the Gaza border conflict involves the increasing capabilities of the Palestinian terrorist groups, as evidenced in large part by their acquisition of new and more weapons," the report, titled "Tension with Gaza: Israel's Deterrence under Pressure," said.

Also In This Edition

Released in January, the report cited Hamas acquisition of the Iranian-origin Fajr-5 rocket, with a range of 80 kilometers. In December 2010, Hamas also fired its first AT-14 Kornet anti-tank guided missile, which penetrated an Israel Army Merkava Mk-4 main battle tank.

"These new weapons may be boosting the confidence of armed elements in Gaza, and the repetitive nature of Israeli counteroperations may be hardening them to routine IDF action," the report said. "On the whole, enhanced capabilities raise the stakes in military actions."

White, a former U.S. Army intelligence officer, said anti-aircraft weapons were being smuggled into the Gaza Strip. He did not identify the weapons, which the report said included man-portable surface-to-air missiles.

"Several shipments of SAMs bound for Gaza have reportedly been discovered by the Egyptians in the Sinai," the report said.

The report was issued amid an escalation in missile, mortar and rocket strikes from the Gaza Strip. White, who has researched both Israel's military as well as Palestinian Authority security forces, said Hamas's arsenal of Kornets endanger military and civilians along Israel's border with the Gaza Strip.

"Longer-range rockets and more rockets mean a greater proportion of Israelis at risk, and Kornet missiles increase the danger to IDF forces operating along the border," the report said. "The consequences may apply not only to tanks and other armored vehicles but also to fixed positions and potentially to civilian transportation, agricultural activity, and settlements within five kilometers of the border."

The report cited Israeli efforts to deploy more Merkava MK-4 MBTs as well as the Raz artillery-detection radar along the Gaza border. The military was also expected to modify tactics amid Hamas' new anti-tank and anti-aircraft threats.

White said Hamas and Palestinian militias were seeking to dominate the Gaza border region. He cited repeated Palestinian attempts to infiltrate Israel's border and attack troops.

"Various weapons and tactics are employed by Palestinians in the border struggle, including anti-tank weapons, improvised explosive devices, mortars, small arms, and sniper fire," the report said.

The report envisioned a major Israeli operation in the Gaza Strip. White said Hamas was no longer deterred by Israeli air strikes.

"Keeping the situation stable under such escalated circumstances will be very difficult, even if Hamas and Israel wish to avoid a major conflict," the report said. "This latest flare-up may have ended, but sometime ahead a major IDF operation to address the threat seems likely."

About Us     l    Privacy     l     l
Copyright © 2011    East West Services, Inc.    All rights reserved.