Report: Hamas Has New Rockets, New Strategy for Next War

YERUSHALAYIM -
A Kassam rocket. (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)

Hamas has acquired new, more effective short range missiles, Army Radio reported on Tuesday. As the terror group continues to threaten to “avenge” the death of a top terrorist found dead outside his home on Friday — accusing Israel of killing him — the IDF said that Hamas has acquired dozens of the rockets.

Unable to penetrate Israel’s air defense shield during the 2014 Operation Protective Edge battle — as Israel’s Iron Dome system was able to fend off attacks against Israeli cities — Hamas has decided on a new, albeit limited strategy. The Iron Dome system is ineffective within a few hundred meters of the Gaza border, as it needs a range to fly and knock its target out of the air. The new Hamas rocket includes a large amount of explosives, making it potentially much more damaging than the Kassam rockets it uses now — and it is designed for low-flying, short-range attacks that would be immune from Iron Dome defenses.

Although the range of Hamas attacks would be much smaller than during the 2014 war, the terror group hopes to achieve several objectives using it, including preventing IDF ground troops from entering Gaza, emptying out Israeli border towns, and gradually increasing the territory held by Gaza as Hamas takes over areas that Israelis evacuate. Hamas has dozens of these rockets, the report said.

Israeli security forces were preparing for a Hamas terror attack in the wake of the elimination over the weekend of Mazan Fuqua, a top Hamas terrorist who was found dead in Gaza Friday night. Hamas has vowed revenge for his shooting death, which it accused Israel of carrying out.

Overnight Monday, security officials said they arrested eight wanted security suspects in other areas in Yehudah and Shomron. The suspects were wanted for participating in rioting and throwing stones and firebombs that endangered Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers. Several of the suspects were also charged with belonging to Hamas. All were being questioned on their activities by security forces.