The Israeli “Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center” claimed on Thursday that Hamas movement managed to build up its military capabilities in the Gaza Strip and recruited nearly 20.000 fighters despite the siege imposed on the coastal region.The Center also claimed that Hamas obtained long-range rockets and advanced anti-tank munitions, Israeli online daily, Haaretz, reported.

 The Center added that the Israeli Disengagement from the Gaza Strip, which was carried out in 2005, enabled the fighters in the Gaza Strip to build up their military power and boosted the power of Hamas which took over the coastal region in June 2006.

According to the report, Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza was beneficial for Hamas movement as it managed to increase its military power and “transformed Gaza into its capital for internal Palestinian affairs”, Haaretz said.  

 Also, the report claims that Syria and Iran supplied Hamas with weapons, and technical military knowledge. It also stated that Hamas managed to smuggle 80 tons of explosives into the Gaza Strip.

The report also claimed that the success of the Lebanon-based Hezbollah party in combating Israel “in spite of the might of the Israeli army” became a role model for Hamas to continue its resistance.

 Haaretz reported that the center has close ties to the Israeli Military and that it based its report in part on data provided by the Israeli Shin Bet security service.