In a briefing to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on
June 15, Diskin said Hamas and other Palestinian forces have acquired
long-range rockets, Middle East Newsline reported. Diskin said these rockets were capable of reaching Tel
"Hamas and Islamic Jihad have over 5,000 rockets with ranges of up to 40
kilometers, most of them home-made," Diskin said. "Of those rockets, 4,000
belong to Hamas. They also have dozens of more technologically-advanced
models that have been smuggled into Gaza Strip."
Diskin, in remarks released by the Knesset committee, did not identify
the long-range rockets acquired by Hamas. But Israeli sources said the
rockets included the Fajr-5, with a range of more than 80 kilometers.
The intelligence chief warned that Hamas sought to acquire medium- and
long-range rockets from Iran. He said missile components were being smuggled
from Egypt via the vast tunnel network to the Gaza Strip.
"Lifting the naval blockade [from the Gaza Strip] would constitute a
very dangerous development," Diskin, responding to the latest Western
campaign, said. "A port in Gaza would be a major security breach, despite
the option of inspecting vessels prior to their arrival."
Hamas was also said to be working with Islamic insurgents in Egypt's
Sinai Peninsula. Diskin identified the insurgents as Al Qaida and those
aligned with the Iranian-sponsored Hizbullah.
On June 16, the Israel Army detected a squad of gunmen that infiltrated
from Sinai north of the Israeli city of Eilat. In an operation coordinated
with Egypt, Israeli troops killed one of the infiltrators and found an
improvised explosive device. The other squad members fled back into Sinai.
"Sinai attracts Al Qaida [insurgents] who come from Iraq through
Jordan," Diskin said. "Terror facilitators from Gaza also make their way [to
Sinai], as are those who help Hizbullah. The Sinai Peninsula is a vast
area and it is very difficult to control who enters it."