Hamas arms program speeding ahead
As Hamas in Gaza prepares to attempt a reunification with Fatah in the West Bank, the Islamist regime today forms one of the largest armed forces in the region, and has restructured itself into a military-like combat entity, complete with territorial divisions, a senior security source told The Jerusalem Post on Monday.
“Hamas doesn’t really need the Iranians for support anymore. It creates its own weapons, and is responsible for most of its own training,” the source said.
At the same time, foreign trainers, from places like the battlefields of Syria, arrive in Gaza to share their military expertise with Hamas.
Gazan terrorist groups have amassed 10,000 rockets so far, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said at the end of May.
These include dozens of medium- range rockets that can reach greater Tel Aviv, placing 70 percent of Israeli civilians in range from Gaza’s rocket arsenal.
But any renewed clash with the IDF would put almost all of these assets in immediate jeopardy, as the IAF would set about to destroy them at a very fast rate.
Hamas’s fighting divisions are made up of some 16,000 gunmen, while Islamic Jihad has built up a fighting force of 5,000 armed guerrillas, with the aid of Iranian funds and training.
Islamic Jihad has over 2,000 rockets, and that number is growing.
According to Israeli evaluations, there are the 4,000 or so members of the smaller Gazan terror groups, each armed with their own mini arsenals of rockets, bombs and assault weapons.
Many of these groups have pledged allegiance to the global jihad ideology of al-Qaida leader Ayman Al Zawahiri, and maintain ties to fellow jihadis in the neighboring Sinai Peninsula, as well as Syria.