GAZA MILITANTS MAY HAVE FIRED MORE PRECISE ROCKET INTO ISRAEL, POLICE SAY

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By Yanir Yagna
Haaretz

The rocket which was fired into Israel early Saturday morning was not a Qassam, but may be a more advanced type of projectile which had been smuggled into the Gaza Strip, police officials told Haaretz.

The officials were referring to a rocket, which was initially reported to be a Qassam, that had failed to explode after being launched by Gaza militants into the western Negev earlier in the day.

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The rocket, police said, may have been a new, more precise standard issue rocket, as opposed to the local home-made Qassams, one which would have to have been smuggled into the Strip.

The projectile was transferred to a police laboratory in order to see if it indeed is of a different type than those fired into Israel until now.

Israel has long been claiming that Hamas has been continually arming itself with new types of weapons in anticipation for another round of violence in the wake of last years Gaza war.

In April of last year, Israeli sources said that Hamas had managed to smuggle a new arsenal into the Gaza Strip that would upset the balance of power, with the Palestinian Authority saying that Iran has smuggled a large number of weapons into Gaza by sea.

The PA had also claimed that Iranian technology has been used to increase the range of Qassam rockets Hamas is producing in the Gaza Strip to more than 20 kilometers.

Earlier this year, a confident of Hamas strongman Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, who was assassinated in his Dubai hotel, said that Mabhouh had supplied money and arms to “the resistance,” saying that he played a key role in the arms smuggling chain, running from Iran into the Hamas-ruled Strip.

The aide, Mohammed Nassar, had been quoted at the time as saying that Mabhouh never stopped thinking about how to fight the occupation by supplying the Palestinian fighters with quality weapons.

“He participated with me in searching for weapons,” Nassar said, according to an interview he had given to Al-Aqsa radio in Gaza.

See Related: GAZA

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