(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) The Hamas terrorist organization is sparing no effort to enhance its arsenal and train its operatives, especially from its elite “Nukhbah” terror unit, a senior officer with the Israel Defense Forces Southern Command told reporters April 14. The officer said that Hamas’s special forces currently include some 20,000 operatives. Hamas also strives to develop its drone and naval capabilities, including terrorist divers, he said, adding that the terror group was actively pursuing improved rocket-launching capabilities. But Hamas has yet to rehabilitate its pre-2014 firing abilities, which were significantly crippled during Israel’s Operation Protective Edge.
Hamas is currently focusing on developing its short-range projectile fire apparatus, which proved more effective during the summer 2014 war with Israel, as it challenged the Iron Dome missile defense system’s interceptors. The officer said the Islamist group was trying to increase the amount of explosives its arsenal of short-range projectiles can carry, as well as to develop mid-range rockets that could “escape” the Iron Dome. “Hamas saw the [months-long terror wave] in Judea and Samaria as a strategic opportunity it hoped to seize. It is very disappointed by the fact the situation in Judea and Samaria has stabilized,” the officer said.