In recent years, Israel has waged a covert war against a large-scale Hamas effort to smuggle weapons into the Gaza Strip, a Hebrew-language media report has said.
The Jan. 6 report, citing unspecified international media sources, was published in Walla News, one of the largest online Israeli news agencies. Since 2015, the report said, the Israeli Air Force went far beyond targeting ISIS in Sinai, striking a “large number of weapons transfers from Sinai to the Gaza Strip for Hamas.”
Through such alleged strikes, Israel destroyed an estimated 15,000 Gaza-bound rockets of standard industrial production quality.
“Hamas’s military wing was interested in upgrading its arsenal of locally-produced rockets, which experience rapid erosion, and are not as high in quality as the standard [industrial-level] rockets,” the report said. Despite the Israeli interdiction, “Hamas is still able to fire rockets at Tel Aviv and the surrounding area.
Recent statements made by the outgoing Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot, who ended his four-year tenure on Tuesday, seem to confirm the report. “We have foiled the smuggling of 15,000-20,000 rockets [into Gaza],” Eisenkot said during a visit to a region of southern Israel that has experienced frequent Hamas rocket attacks.