Hamas believed to have over 10,000 rockets, largest buildup since Operation Protective Edge in 2014; Reports claim Saudi Arabia cracking down on local Hamas members including arrests, freezing accounts and deportation; Shin Bet exposes PA money laundering to Hamas in Malaysia.
Hamas has replenished its rocket and weapons caches since its last full-scale confrontation with Israel in 2014, according to reports released Monday. One of the main reports came from the Wall Street Journal which cited Israeli and Hamas officials confirming the terror organization has replenished over 10,000 rockets.
Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad have been smuggling and manufacturing projectiles in the Gaza Strip with direct and financial assistance from Iran. The majority of rockets are short to medium range, but regional Islamic terrorist organizations have advanced their methods and production of long-range missiles, most recently displayed in a rocket attack from the Gaza Strip on Tel Aviv two months ago. Hamas head Yahya Sinwar before the weekend directly thanked Iran for funding its missiles and threatened to again target Tel Aviv with rockets. He stated, ”Had it not been for Iran, the resistance in Palestine would not have possessed its current capabilities. Iran provided us with rockets and we surprised the world when our resistance targeting Beersheba,” in reference to the latest flare-up of rocket attacks on Israel’s south.
With regional threats, specifically with advanced missile and defense technologies and production, neighboring states of Israel have increased their public condemnation of Hamas and Iran, as well as Hezbollah. Most recently, there has been increased support from the Saudi government combatting Hamas, as well as in Saudi media from former and sitting military and political officials and journalists. The government has been reportedly arresting Hamas members living in Saudi Arabia associated with the organization and has also been freezing associated bank accounts.
Beirut’s Al-Akhbar claimed this week that arrests were made of those “collecting donations and managing funds for Hamas in Saudi Arabia,” the number of cases exceeding 60 Palestinians and Saudis. It also claimed, “The authorities accused them of ‘supporting a terrorist movement and money laundering in support of terrorism and extremism.’ Over the past two years, more than 100 Palestinians have been deported from the Kingdom, most of them accused of supporting the resistance financially, politically or through social networking sites.”
Israel continues to expose and thwart Hamas’s extended terror networks domestically and around the globe. Most recently, the Shin Bet (Israel’s Internal Security Agency) exposed Palestinian Authority (PA) officials laundering money for Hamas terror training in Malaysia.