JERUSALEM, Israel - Israeli Military Intelligence chief General Amos Yadlin warns terrorists in Gaza have successfully test-fired an Iranian rocket that can reach Tel Aviv, Israel's largest commercial center.
In a briefing to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Tuesday, Yadlin said the longer-range missiles attest to the Gaza-based Palestinian faction's growing military capabilities.
Hamas, he said, is not interested in a confrontation with Israel at this time. Instead the group is focused on building its weapons cache via the smuggling tunnels along the border with Egypt and strengthening its grip in Gaza.
Yadlin said Lebanese-based Hezbollah terrorists have the same missile capability as Hamas.
"The organization continues to arm itself and is amassing many weapons from Iran via Syria," Yadlin said.
"It is accumulating [and storing them] south of the Litani River, inside civilian homes, in contravention of U.N. Security council Resolution 1701 [which ended the Second Lebanon War in the summer of 2006]," he said.
Yadlin said Syria is helping to arm both terror groups.
"Syria has turned into the main factory and weapons cache for Hamas and Hezbollah, as well as for Syria itself, with financial aid from Iran" he said.
"Syria is operating on two parallel tracks - benevolence toward the West and, in its [own] backyard, it is becoming a weapons factory for the axis of evil," the Intelligence chief said.
Turning to Iran, Yadlin said the Islamic Republic has designated its nuclear plant in the city of Qom for military purposes.
"The plant in Qom was not intended for civilian purposes as the Iranians claim," he said. "The facility contains advanced centrifuges, which can be used to expedite the process of uranium enrichment. These are the latest model of centrifuges," he said.
"Underneath the surface, our enemies, led by Iran, are continuing to gain strength," Yadlin said. "Iran is financing these activities, training forces and arming Hamas and Hezbollah," the general concluded.