October 05, 2006

Tunnels feed new Hamas army

The Hamas organization in the Gaza Strip has assembled an armed and trained force of about 7,500 fighters. A senior military official emphasized that it was not just a large guerilla force, but an organized military force.

This new Hamas army consists of several specialized units, including a short-range missile unit, a long-range missile unit, an anti-tank unit, and a sniper unit, among others.

Intelligence sources estimated the army would reach operational capacity, and be capable of confronting the IDF as soon as the coming summer, if the flow of arms, military experts, and money into the Gaza Strip was not stopped.
The army did not only have defensive capabilities against the IDF, but offensive capabilities that would allow it to launch long-range missiles towards settlements within the Green Line, and to infiltrate Israel through hidden tunnels.

According to military sources, the strengthening of Hamas’ army was a calculated aspect of a long-term plan that began with the rise of the Hamas government, and did not cease for a single day since then.