Hamas military capability 'back to 2014 levels' claims Israel

Hamas military capability 'back to 2014 levels' claims Israel
In an interview with Israel's Channel 2, an anonymous security agent spoke out about Hamas' military capacities, saying they have been steadily replenished after two years of stability.
1 min read
01 February, 2017
Al-Qassam missiles displayed in the Gaza Strip in August 2016 [AFP]

The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas has regained its military capacity to levels seen before the 2014 war, a senior Israeli intelligence officer said on Tuesday.

The Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas in Gaza, have reportedly been steadily increasing their tunnel networks, despite counter efforts from the Egyptian government.

"Hamas is working intensively to improve its capabilities, taking advantage of the state of calm that has prevailed in the Gaza Strip since the last war," the source told Israel's Channel 2, in a programme aired on Tuesday.

Hamas' missile stockpiles have been growing steadily, as munition factories in Gaza produce weapons with the "Qassam Manufacturing" symbol according to Iranian design.

Rockets have been produced in the Gaza Strip since 2001, but these factories have had to increase production after Israel's military blockade made it increasingly difficult to smuggle in weapons.

The Egyptian army have been responsible for creating water canals which are flooding smuggling tunnels near Rafah.

The Israeli source also expressed concern over a Hamas delegation visit to Cairo last week, where discussions on the blockade were held.