Hamas Conserving Its Rockets, Say Israeli Army Officials

Militants firing fewer rockets per day because of dwindling stocks and desire to hold on to remaining arsenal.


The IDF believes that Hamas is now firing fewer rockets because it wants to extend the duration of the fighting.

According to IDF figures, since the beginning of the ground operation Hamas has fired fewer rockets and mortars at communities in the south. The average of the past few days has been about 90 launches a day, of which about 20 have been intercepted. Security officials believe that the reason for the slowdown is both because of the dwindling stocks in the hands of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and the organizations’ desire to hold on to the remaining arsenal.

According to Military Intelligence, Hamas had about 9,000 rockets in the Gaza Strip. About 2,300 rockets were fired at communities in Israel since the beginning of the operation, and the IDF believes that it hit about 35 percent of the total number of all the rockets. That leaves about 3,000 rockets that Hamas can still use.

Sources in the IDF also say that about half the facilities that produce the rockets in Gaza have been hit. Security officials say they also believe that even if there is a cease-fire, Hamas will want to launch a final massive rocket attack on the south.

However, the army believes that Hamas operatives near the border are beginning to break. Thursday morning, for example, two armed men emerged from a tunnel with their hands up, and surrendered to a paratroop force nearby. The pair were taken into custody and sent for interrogation.