Released in January, the report cited Hamas acquisition of the
Iranian-origin Fajr-5 rocket, with a range of 80 kilometers. In December
2010, Hamas also fired its first AT-14 Kornet anti-tank guided missile,
which penetrated an Israel Army Merkava Mk-4 main battle tank.
"These new weapons may be boosting the confidence of armed elements in
Gaza, and the repetitive nature of Israeli counteroperations may be
hardening them to routine IDF action," the report said. "On the whole,
enhanced capabilities raise the stakes in military actions."
White, a former U.S. Army intelligence officer, said anti-aircraft
weapons were being smuggled into the Gaza Strip. He did not identify the
weapons, which the report said included man-portable surface-to-air
"Several shipments of SAMs bound for Gaza have reportedly been
discovered by the Egyptians in the Sinai," the report said.
The report was issued amid an escalation in missile, mortar and rocket
strikes from the Gaza Strip. White, who has researched both Israel's
military as well as Palestinian Authority security forces, said Hamas's
arsenal of Kornets endanger military and civilians along Israel's border
with the Gaza Strip.
"Longer-range rockets and more rockets mean a greater proportion of
Israelis at risk, and Kornet missiles increase the danger to IDF forces
operating along the border," the report said. "The consequences may apply
not only to tanks and other armored vehicles but also to fixed positions and
potentially to civilian transportation, agricultural activity, and
settlements within five kilometers of the border."
The report cited Israeli efforts to deploy more Merkava MK-4 MBTs as
well as the Raz artillery-detection radar along the Gaza border. The
military was also expected to modify tactics amid Hamas' new anti-tank and
White said Hamas and Palestinian militias were seeking to dominate the
Gaza border region. He cited repeated Palestinian attempts to infiltrate
Israel's border and attack troops.
"Various weapons and tactics are employed by Palestinians in the border
struggle, including anti-tank weapons, improvised explosive devices,
mortars, small arms, and sniper fire," the report said.
The report envisioned a major Israeli operation in the Gaza Strip. White
said Hamas was no longer deterred by Israeli air strikes.
"Keeping the situation stable under such escalated circumstances will be
very difficult, even if Hamas and Israel wish to avoid a major conflict,"
the report said. "This latest flare-up may have ended, but sometime ahead a
major IDF operation to address the threat seems likely."