The IDF launched Operation Protective Edge last summer to put an end to the hundreds of rockets fired by Hamas from the Gaza Strip, and to destroy the organisation’s network of cross-border terror tunnels that facilitated attacks on Israeli civilians and soldiers inside Israel.
At the end of the operation, Israeli Army intelligence assessed that more than two-thirds of Hamas’ rockets were demolished.
Speaking of the terror group’s rearmament efforts, an IDF official said: “Hamas is getting closer to finishing restoring its stock of mortar shells and short-range rockets”.
The official added: “They don’t yet have the amount of medium and long-range rockets (that can reach Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and further north) it had. 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 acknowledged that Hamas are rebuilding tunnels again inside Gaza, however, “Hamas is not re-digging the tunnels we destroyed- digging such cross-border tunnels could take years. Hamas is nowhere near the border fence”.
The IDF official also stated that in the next few weeks Israeli defence forces will launch a system to identify tunnels along certain areas of the border between Israel and Gaza.
On the reconstruction of Gaza, IDF official said that the rebuilding of the territory increased Israel’s security: “We recommended allowing more goods and allowing Palestinians to work in Israel after they pass security checks. The longer the economic problems in Gaza continue, the bigger the potential of friction, regardless of deterrence”.
The official estimated that there are between 500-1000 ISIS terrorists in Gaza, stating that “every successful ISIS operation recruits more militants, most of them local”.
Throughout Operation Protective Edge last summer, a total of 5,014 rockets were launched at Israel from the Gaza Strip, and 32 Hamas terror tunnels were uncovered by the IDF.