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Tuesday, August 9, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Israel hit by extended-range rockets said stolen from Libyan warehouses

GAZA CITY — An Al Qaida-aligned militia has acquired extended-range rockets and used them in attacks against Israel.


Palestinian sources said the Tawhid fighters were detained in Gaza City two days after Tawhid claimed responsibility for a rocket strike in the southern Israeli city of Kiryat Gat.

The sources said Tawhid and Army of Islam were believed to have received scores of Katyushas amid the flood of weapons that arrived from Libya in the spring and summer of 2011. They said the weapons included short-range missiles, extended-range rockets and mortars stolen from the military warehouses of the regime of Col. Moammar Gadhafi.

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"Our arms are only directed at the Zionists and at nobody else," Tawhid said.

So far, Hamas security forces arrested two members of Tawhid on suspicion of forming a squad to fire the extended-range rockets into Israel.

The sources said an Al Qaida-aligned militia has acquired rockets with a range of more than 30 kilometers. They said Tawhid Wa'al Jihad has begun to fire extended-range Katyusha rockets against civilian targets in the Jewish state.

"Forces belonging to Ismail Haniyeh's government in the northern Gaza Strip detained today at 8:23 a.m., two fighters from a cell loading missiles against the enemy," Tawhid said on Aug. 6.

This marked the first report that Tawhid has received and fired extended-range Katyushas into Israel. Over the last year, Tawhid as well as the Army of Islam have claimed responsibility for several short-range rocket launches toward Israel.

Israel has targeted Hamas in retaliation for the Tawhid rocket strike. In July, Palestinian gunners again increased missile and rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.

The Tawhid announcement said the Israel Air Force sent unmanned aerial vehicles to track the rocket squad that was arrested by Hamas. The group said other squad members escaped.

"They were working in the service of the homeland against Israel's tyranny," Tawhid said.

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