A senior Israeli Military Intelligence official stated Wednesday that Israeli intelligence gathered about the Hamas and the Islamic Jihad Movements in Gaza indicated that the two groups managed to upgrade their military capabilities, and obtained advanced rockets.The official stated that the missiles the Islamic Jihad managed to obtain are more advanced than the missiles that Hamas has, as they can hit areas that are as far as 74 kilometers, which means that they can hit Tel Aviv and areas beyond.
Speaking to Israel’s TV Channel 10, the officer stated that the Israeli military intelligence believes that, in recent months, the Islamic Jihad managed to smuggle different types of weapons through the tunnels, and that some of these weapons are even stronger and more effective than the weapons Hamas managed to obtain.
He added that the Islamic Jihad also managed to developed stronger relations with Iran, an issue that enabled Iranian weapons to be sent to it in Gaza.
Furthermore, the official said that Islamic Jihad fighters succeeded in establishing training centers not only in Gaza, but also in other countries.
Israel believes that the Islamic Jihad is one of the main movements that can effectively compete with Hamas, and that it owns long-range missiles that can hit different targets in Israeli areas that are not close to the border with Gaza, and that the movement is behind attacks carried out on the border between Egypt and Israel.
Israeli intelligence officials said that the Islamic Jihad “believes in an ideology that is far more extreme than the ideology of the Hamas movement”.
The Israeli army is convinced that the current activities of the Islamic Jihad could cause further tension in the situation, and could lead to a new war, while the Israeli security devices are monitoring its activities, and even carried out assassinations against some of the fighters, and still intend to assassinate more senior fighters.
The army warned that the rising power of the Islamic Jihad ‘jeopardizes the security situation in the south”, adding that “should Hamas become unable to fully control the activities of the Islamic Jihad, the Israeli army will have to conduct another war on Gaza, similar to the three-week war that started on December 28, 2008, in which more than 1419 Palestinians, mainly civilians and children were killed, and thousands were wounded.
During the war, Israel also killed and wounded Journalist, medics, and civil defense personnel. The army bombarded homes, infrastructure such as roads and bridges, mosques, hospitals and medical facilities, and UNRWA facilities and schools.