TEL AVIV — Israel has assessed that the Hamas regime is still receiving
shipments of man-portable air defense systems in the Gaza Strip.
Officials said Israel's intelligence community has been tracking
shipments of Russian-origin surface-to-air missiles from Egypt to the Gaza
Strip. They said the flow of SAMs increased in 2009 in wake of the 22-day
Hamas-Israel war in January.
"Hamas realized that it could not confront an Israeli force without SAM
systems," an official said.
The Israel Security Agency has assessed that Hamas was acquiring SAM-7
and related systems from Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. ISA director said Hamas
smuggled 46 SAM rockets since the Hamas-Israel war.
Also In This Edition
Officials said Hamas first acquired the SAM-7 Strella in 2007. But the
anti-aircraft system, with a range of 3.5 kilometers, was not widely used in
the war with Israel in December 2008 and January 2009.
During the war, Hamas was said to have deployed U.S.-origin Stinger
man-portable surface-to-air missiles. But the Stingers, with one exception,
failed to fire against the U.S.-origin aircraft flown by the Israel Air
On May 20, Diskin told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee
that Hamas also acquired 362 mortar shells, hundreds of rockets, 220 rifles
and machine guns and 39 anti-tank rockets. He said 17 tons of explosives and
61 tons of fertilizer were also smuggled from Sinai. Fertilizer has been
used in the production of explosives.