Israeli security sources claimed that Hamas is providing the Islamic Jihad with homemade shells to fire them from the Gaza Strip into Israeli areas, and that Hamas is encouraging the Islamic Jihad to fire more homemade shells; the Islamic Jihad denied the Israeli report.According to Israeli security sources, Hamas is interested in allowing at least one faction to fire homemade shells into Israel even if a ceasefire agreement is reached.
The sources also claimed that there is a secret cooperation between Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, and that this “complex cooperation” is supported by Iran.
Also, the Israeli intelligence claimed that the capability of Hamas in manufacturing the shells is bigger than the Islamic Jihad, and that Hamas handed the Islamic Jihad advanced Qassam shells with longer ranges.
Israel is apparently referring to a Grad Russian shell that could hit a target as far as 16 kilometers; the shell was fired for the first time in June 2006 from the Gaza Strip into Ashkelon (Asqalan).
Moreover, the Israeli security claims that most of the aid that Hamas is providing to the Islamic Jihad is in the Gaza Strip, and that the movement is attempting to develop homemade shells in the West Bank.
Israeli sources claimed that the army uncovered homemade shells in Bethlehem but the shells have a smaller range. According to the army, the shells were intended to be fired at Gilo settlement, near Jerusalem.
Abu Ahmad, media spokesperson of the Al Quds brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, denied the Israeli reports, and said that the group managed to develop advanced shells in the Gaza Strip.
These shells, according to Abu Ahmad are similar to the Katusha and mortar shells, and that these shells could easily hits targets in the Israeli Negev town of Sderot, adjacent to the Gaza Strip.
He added that the Brigades is willing to cooperate with all Palestinian factions, but stated that the group did not receive any shells from any faction.