Israeli intel IDs, targets Gaza rocket developers

Special to from

TEL AVIV — Israel has launched an assassination campaign against rocket specialists of Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Israeli sources have asserted that the Israeli intelligence community has identified more than 100 rocket specialists of Hamas and the Iranian-sponsored Jihad.

Rocket fired from the Gaza Strip toward Israel.  /EPA
Rocket fired from the Gaza Strip toward Israel. /EPA

They said the intelligence community and military would seek to kill a significant portion of them to hamper the Palestinian missile and rocket industry in the Gaza Strip.

“There have been efforts in the past, but we expect this to intensify as long as they improve their weapons capabilities against us,” a source said.

In August 2014, Israel’s Channel 2 television reported that Military Intelligence and the Israel Security Agency were ordered to locate and kill the Palestinian rocket developers. The television, quoting so-called foreign sources, said the focus was on several dozen Gazan engineers responsible for missiles and engines.

“They are behind the expanding arsenal of Hamas and Jihad,” the report said.

During the 50-day war, Israel’s military reported the killing of a range of Hamas and Jihad rocket squad commanders. They included at least two major Hamas rocket specialists, targeted near Gaza City and identified as Hamas’ Ahmed Mabhouh and Jihad’s Amer Erhim. Both men were also said to lead weapons tunnel squads.

The head of Hamas’ rocket development was identified as Haiman Siyam. In July 2014, the Israel Air Force fired an air-to-ground missile that targeted what was mistakenly believed to have been Siyam’s car.

“There is clearly a need to improve intelligence on these people,” the source said.

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