The Israeli military has not reported Hamas rocket strikes on its bases.
The sources said this was meant to prevent Hamas from knowing in real-time
whether its targets were struck.
During the current war, Hamas has demonstrated a capability to fire
rockets that could fly at least 45 kilometers. The sources said the military
expects Hamas to acquire Iranian-origin rockets with a range of at least 70
kilometers in 2009.
Hamas has claimed that its rockets struck Tel Nof, located 27 kilometers
from the Gaza Strip. Tel Nof has served as a base for the air force's F-16
A key concern, the sources said, was that Hamas would be ordered to
strike Israel's commercial center in Tel Aviv and the nuclear facility in
Dimona. The sources said both targets could be damaged, even by unguided
"Hamas wants to show Iran that it could cause strategic damage in any
future war with Israel," the source said.
Israel has been targeting the commanders of Hamas's missile program,
particularly in Gaza City, where many of the missiles and rockets were being
launched. On Jan. 10, the military said ground forces killed the commander
of Hamas's missile program in Gaza City, Amir Mansi.
"Mansi was also the leading Hamas authority with regard to the
long-range Grad missile launching program," the military said in a
Officials said the Israeli military has severely damaged Hamas's missile
and rocket capabilities. They said Operation Cast Lead was launched amid the
height of Hamas missile and rocket production in the central and southern
"Hamas intended to produce up to 20,000 rockets in the space of several
months, but we struck their facilities after they manufactured about 2-3,000
rockets," a military source said.