(photo credit: REUTERS)
Two months after the end of the 50-day conflict with Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the IDF continues to closely monitor attempts by Gazan terrorists organizations to stock up on rockets and rebuild a network of offensive tunnels.
A security source told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday that it would be safe to assume that Hamas embarked on a force buildup and weapons program the moment after a ceasefire went into effect on August 26.
The source made it clear that on the Israeli side too, military preparations are under way for the event of a renewed clash.
Nevertheless, he added, Israeli deterrence remains very much in effect, preventing Gazan terrorist factions from violating the truce.
Channel 10 reported on Thursday that Hamas carried out a sixth rocket experiment, involving the firing of projectiles from Gaza into the Mediterranean Sea.
Earlier this month, a navy commander told the Post
that Hamas “are doing experiments and checking their rockets. This is a part of their domestic weapons production. We did not doubt, at the end of the war, that their focus will be on building more weapons. We monitor every such launch, noting the quality of the rocket and its range.”
Cmdr. Eli Soholiski, the outgoing commander of the navy’s Squadron 916, which secures the waters off the Gazan coast, also spoke of multiple attempts to smuggle material by sea into Gaza for building weapons.
Hamas is continuing to fire rockets into the sea as part of its weapons upgrade program, and the launches are used by Hamas arms designers to experiment with various projectile models.
The experiments are being watched by the IDF.
According to Israeli assessments, Gazan terrorist factions have approximately 30 percent of the rocket stockpile that was in their possession prior to the outbreak of hostilities on July 8, or 3,000 rockets.