Iran renews efforts to supply Hamas

Teheran probes group's failure during IDF op, looks to supply Hamas with missiles which can hit TA.

By
January 20, 2009 02:05
2 minute read.
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ahmadinejad badass 298.8. (photo credit: Associated Press)

 
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Iran has renewed efforts to supply advanced weaponry to Hamas and the IDF is concerned that the terror group will try to smuggle long-range Fajr missiles into the Gaza Strip. According to the latest intelligence assessments, Iran, which was responsible for writing Hamas's military doctrine, has already launched an internal probe to determine how the plan it had created for Hamas failed to cause more IDF casualties. The military plan created by the Iranians was based on three pillars: The first was the defensive measures that Hamas had created in Gaza, which included dozens of kilometers of tunnels and thousands of roadside bombs and booby-trapped homes. The second pillar was rocket attacks against the home front. Here too, Hamas failed to fire rockets farther than 40 kilometers, even though it had planned to. The third pillar was creating a "victory image" in the form of a burned-out tank or the abduction of an IDF soldier. "Hamas thought it would succeed like Hizbullah did in 2006," a senior defense official said. The IDF is concerned that Hamas and Iran will try to smuggle long-range Fajr missiles into the Gaza Strip. Fajr missiles, manufactured in Iran, have a range of 70 km. and if fired from Gaza would easily reach Tel Aviv. On Monday, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said that renewed weapons smuggling would be legitimate grounds for Israel to renew attacks against Hamas. While the Fajr is large - 10 meters in length compared to the two-meter Grads - it is believed that it would be possible to smuggle the rockets into Gaza after it was disassembled into several components and via a tunnel dug especially large for the purpose. Meanwhile Monday, the IDF prepared to withdraw its remaining troops from the Gaza Strip. Defense officials estimated that the IDF would pull the troops out by the time Barack Obama is sworn in as the 44th president of the United States on Tuesday. The IDF believes that over 80 percent of the tunnels along the Philadelphi Corridor have been destroyed and that Hamas has under 1,000 rockets left in its arsenal after it fired over 600 and the IDF destroyed another 1,200. Remaining rockets include several dozen Grad-model Katyushas. On Monday, the Kerem Shalom, Karni, Nahal Oz and Erez crossings were opened to allow humanitarian supplies to enter Gaza. Throughout the day 195 trucks laden with 4,946 tons of supplies at the request of various international organizations, donations from Jordan, Egypt and the Israeli charity organization Latet made their way to Gaza. Following a successful pilot on Sunday, direct access from Egypt to Gaza was allowed and 10 trucks with an Egyptian donation of 198 tons of flour entered directly in to Gaza though Kerem Shalom. Also, the Red Cross facilitated the transfer of 10 ambulances from the Palestinian Red Crescent Society in the West Bank to the Gaza Strip, in order to beef up the ambulance fleet in Gaza. Further medical movements included 33 Palestinians that left Gaza for medical treatment in Israel. Since the beginning of the operation, 41,937 tons of humanitarian supplies and 2,263,351 liters of fuel have been transferred to the Strip.

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