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Friday, March 25, 2011     FOR YOUR EYES ONLY

Hamas supplies militias with mortars, rockets
for attacks on Israel

GAZA CITY — Palestinian sources said the Hamas regime has been equipping Palestinian militias with a range of missiles, mortars and rockets for attacks on Israel. They said some of the militias were trained to fire rockets with ranges of up to 45 kilometers.


"Hamas would rather have others claim responsibility for these attacks as this might avoid massive Israeli retaliation," a Palestinian source familiar with the Hamas regime said.

The sources said Hamas has supplied 60mm and 81mm mortars as well as the C5K rocket to the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine. They said the Popular Resistance Committees were also given the Hamas-origin Kassam-class missile.

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"These attacks are in response to Israeli crimes in Gaza," the PRC's Nasser Salah Eddin Brigades said.

The sources said a Fatah wing loyal to Hamas has also received mortars and short-range rockets. They said Fatah and other Palestinian gunners underwent training over the last six months that would enable them to fire a range of projectiles. The militias were also undergoing exercises in the use of tunnels in combat.

The longest-range rocket attacks have been conducted by the Iranian-sponsored Islamic Jihad. Jihad's Al Quds Brigades has fired the enhanced BM-21 Grad rocket, with a range of 45 kilometers, into such cities as Ashdod, Beersheba and Yavne. The attack on Ashdod, a port city, was the first since the Israeli war with Hamas in 2008.

"We are entering a new phase of bombing targets that are farther away," Jihad said.

The sources said Jihad was supplied with the Chinese-origin Grad variants in 2010. Over the last two weeks, Jihad and other Palestinian militias have been given greater leeway in missile, mortar and rocket attacks on Israeli civilian and military targets.

Jihad was also believed to have received anti-tank guided missiles for strikes on Israeli military positions along the border with the Gaza Strip. They were said to have included the AT-14, AT-3 and the 9K111 Fagot, also designed by Russia and enhanced by China and Iran.

"From now on, there are no more red lines for the resistance," Jihad said.

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