Hamas Arms Smuggling Increases

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GAZA BORDER - The Hamas terror organization, which controls the Gaza Strip, is continuing to import explosives, longer-range rockets, anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles through an estimated 160 smuggling tunnels at the border with Egypt.

According to Israeli officials, Egypt has not reduced the flow of arms into the Gaza Strip, despite its recent bust of a Hezbollah-organized terror cell in the Sinai Peninsula.

Egyptian border guards recently seized nearly 2,000 pounds of explosives at the border with Gaza, but Israeli intelligence officials believe Hamas is most interested in beefing up its rocket and missile cache.

With the help of Hezbollah, Hamas has been reviewing its failed strategies during Israel's three-week military operation in Gaza.

Both terror groups, Hezbollah and Hamas, are financed, trained and supported by Iran and Syria.

Strategies such as booby-trapped houses, land mines along the roads did not accomplish the group's goals during Operation Cast Lead, which included kidnapping Israeli soldiers, downing IDF (Israel Defense Forces) helicopters and blowing up armored vehicles.

Israeli officials also said the recent lack of Palestinian rocket fire on southern Israel is meant to avoid IDF retaliatory air strikes on the smuggling tunnels.

Hamas has also ordered its military to stay in uniform, believing it was a mistake to have many of them fight in civilian clothes during the Gaza operation, meant  to give the impression that Israel was targeting civilians.

They now believe the move damaged their forces' morale and gave civilians the impression that Hamas had lost control of the area.

Last week, Hamas leaders Ismail Haniyeh and Mahmoud al-Zahar spoke at a rally in Gaza City.

During the Gaza operation, Haniyeh and al-Zahar, along with other senior Hamas officials, went underground after Ahmed Yassin and Abdel Aziz Rantisi, leaders from previous years, were killed in air strikes.

Source: Haaretz

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