Sunday, November 14, 2010

Intelligence official: Hamas rockets can reach Tel Aviv

Once again, we see the build-up to war continuing in full force:

Hamas rockets can reach Tel Aviv

A senior intelligence official warned Sunday that Hamas in the Gaza Strip have rockets that can travel 80 kilometers (50 miles) — a longer range than previously reported, which would put Tel Aviv within range of its launchers.

The Israeli intelligence official said that Hamas, which seized control of Gaza in 2007, is "making very big efforts to build up their military capabilities ... building up their rocket capabilities in the Gaza Strip, and all this is happening because of one important thing: the smuggling of weapons through Egypt to the Gaza Strip."

"We see it in our intelligence. We have photos of this. In many places we can show photos of Egyptian soldiers located less than 20 meters (yards) from the opening of a tunnel, and the tunnel is operating under his eyes, under his control, and nobody is doing anything about it."

"Egypt can stop all this smuggling of weapons within 24 hours if they want to do it," he said. "There are enough Egyptian troops and policemen ... located on this border."

MK Arye Eldad, a member of the parliamentary Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, who has access to classified material, confirmed the official's assessment.

It appears that Egypt is actually facilitating the import of weapons into Gaza:

"Egypt is not a country that large quantities of weapons can enter without the authorities knowing," he told The Associated Press, charging that Egypt allows Hamas to acquire arms in exchange for the Islamic militants leaving Egypt alone.

"They could easily train police to look for the smugglers and they don't," Eldad said.

The focus of weapons build-up has been in southern Lebanon, with Syria providing Iranian and Russian missiles to Hezbollah.

Now, we are seeing more and more information regarding missile shipments into Gaza, to Hamas, only this time rather than Syria facilitating the exchange, its Egyptian involvement who maintains the process.

The build-up to war continues.

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