SINAI, Egypt - Egyptian security forces found eight surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles in an underground bunker in the northern Sinai.
While explosives, grenades, land mines and automatic rifles have been discovered in the smuggling tunnels, missiles are a rarer find.
According to former OC Military Intelligence chief Major General (res.) Aharon Ze'evi Farkash, the missiles may have been meant for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip or for global Islamic terror groups.
"Northern Sinai as a hiding place could be used by either one," Farkash said.
While surface-to-surface rockets and missiles have been smuggled into Gaza for years, the surface-to-air missiles represent what Farkash called "balance-altering weaponry."
"The targets in this case would be [Israel] Air Force planes and helicopters," he said.
"There is a constant effort by Hamas to obtain these types of rockets. At the moment, Hamas's rocket arsenal does not cause major damage because their warheads are small, weighing up to five kilograms [11 pounds]. If the rockets in question have a bigger range, they could be more destructive," he said.
Meanwhile, senior terrorism expert Dr. Ely Karmon of the Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya said Hamas is using the tadhiyeh to prepare for a future confrontation with Israel.
"Hamas is attempting to emulate [Lebanese-based] Hezbollah [terrorists] by setting up an underground infrastructure and acquiring long-range rockets," Dr. Karmon said.
"This is one of the mistakes of agreeing to the cease-fire, which has only strengthened Hamas," he said. "Eventually, both sides will pay [in a confrontation] ," he said.
Source: The Jerusalem Post