The Palestinian terror group Hamas has built up its rocket arsenal to a stockpile resembling that before the jihadi outfit launched a war against Israel over the summer of 2014, Israeli officials said Wednesday.
As Wednesday marks the one-year anniversary of the beginning of the war, codenamed Operation Protective Edge by the Israel Defense Forces, Jerusalem said that although two-thirds of Hamas rockets were eliminated, along with many of its tunnel networks, the group is close to restoring itself back to pre-2014 war capacity.
An unnamed IDF Southern Command official told Ynetnews that “Hamas is getting closer to finishing restoring its stock of mortar shells and short-range rockets.” “They don’t yet have the amount of medium- and long-range rockets (that can reach Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and further north) it had,” he added.
“Hamas will not give up the ability to fire rockets deep into Israel in the next war, because to them, a routine of sirens and emergency situation in Tel Aviv is an achievement,” the official added.
He said that the next increase in hostilities will likely not last as long as the 2014 50-day war between the two sides.
The official added that the presence of the Islamic State terror group in Gaza has complicated the security situation for Israelis, estimating that between 500-1,000 ISIS terrorists are active in Gaza.
Haaretz reports that the group’s military wing has solidified its bonds with Iran, which has sent the terror group tens of millions of dollars over the past year.
Since the end of the war, the Israel-Gaza border has been relatively quiet. Eight rockets have been fired from Gaza into Israel, along with a few other incidents of weapons fired in the border area.