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March 7, 2016 12:31 pm

Report: Hamas Rocket Arsenal Restored to Pre-Protective Edge Numbers

avatar by David Daoud

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Qassam rockets on display. Photo: Wikipedia.

Qassam rockets on display. Photo: Wikipedia.

Israeli intelligence estimates indicate that Hamas has restored its rocket arsenal to the numbers that existed on the eve of Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014, the Hebrew news site Walla reported on Friday.

According to this assessment, most of the rockets are short range, however, capable only of reaching Israeli communities near Gaza. These projectiles are domestically produced and of lower quality than those previously possessed. Additionally, Hamas has stocked up on mortar rounds, which are also short range, but can be fired more quickly than rockets and are not detectable by Israel’s “Red Alert” missile-warning system.

Hamas’ ability to acquire long-range rockets has been hindered by the Egyptian army’s closure of the terror organization’s smuggling tunnels extending from the Sinai Peninsula into the Gaza Strip, the Walla report said.

In the summer of 2014, Israel launched Operation Protective Edge to eliminate the growing threat from Hamas’ rockets and terror tunnels. On the eve of the war, Hamas is estimated to have had a total of 12,000 rockets, and fired approximately 4,600 of them into Israel. The IDF destroyed another 4,000, leaving the terror group with only a third of its original arsenal when the fighting ended.

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