Hamas has recently developed a new and powerful short-range missile, it was revealed yesterday.
It was originally thought the missile had a payload of between 10kg and 100kg, but the military censor yesterday allowed publication of the fact that it can carry up to 200kg. The information was revealed on Army Radio.
Yair Ferjon, the head of Ashkelon coast regional council, told the station: “We are preparing for every eventuality and if we have to evacuate, we will evacuate. Civilians do not need to be on the front.”
Due to the close proximity, the Iron Dome anti-missile system is unable to stop such short range missiles. There is also real concern that after Operation Protective Edge, in 2014, Hamas believes that communities on the periphery of Gaza are vulnerable to such attacks.
As Iron Dome cannot be used for such attacks, the IDF will use the Air Force to try and counter these rockets.
Tensions remain high after the assassination of Hamas leader Mazen Fuqaha over the weekend. There has been no confirmation of who carried out the attack, although Hamas has accused the Israeli secret service of killing Fuqaha.
Channel 10 reported last night that Palestinian security officials in the West Bank have raised the state of alert due to concern that Hamas will use sleeper cells to try to carry out terror attacks against Israeli target.
The IDF are also being extra vigilant on the Gaza border, and are specifically concerned about possible sniper fire that could be directed a troops.
Earlier this month security sources said that they believe Hamas has rebuilt its rocket capabilities back to pre-2014 levels. The assessment is that Hezbollah has similar rockets, even more advanced, that it is liable to use if there was to be another round of fighting in the north.