Iranian-backed terror groups in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip are prepared to saturation bomb Israeli population centers across the country, according to assessments provided this week by intelligence analysts and boasts issued by Iranian figures. Hossein Sheikholeslam, the Iranian Parliament speaker’s top adviser for international affairs, reportedly bragged to Iranian media that “Now Hezbollah has tens of thousands of missiles ready to be fired at Israel,” describing Israeli missile defense as “a theoretical joke.” Israeli intelligence assesses that the Lebanese terror group has an arsenal of more than 100,000 projectiles, and that it is capable of blanketing civilians living anywhere in the country with rockets and missiles. Meanwhile David Horovitz, a veteran Israeli journalist and the founding editor of the Times of Israel, outlined how the Palestinian Hamas faction has in recent months “substantially bolstered its capacity to fire on Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and the rest of central Israel,” and describing an arsenal filled with dozens of indigenously produced “M-75 rockets, with a range of 75 kilometers and more.”
Hamas realized after Pillar of Defense that firing on central Israel immensely bolstered its prestige, and the Hamas prime minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, was recognized and hailed as only the second Arab leader, after Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, to have hit central Israel. Since that conflict, therefore, Hamas has focused on improving its capacity to build such rockets, establishing a domestic production capacity rather than relying on smuggling rockets and components into the strip. Domestic production of the M-75 has become Hamas’s flagship project.
The Times of Israel also disclosed that Hamas has created “a substantial network of tunnels… dozens of miles of underground networks in key areas of the Strip,” which will be used in any future conflict to plant mines, move personnel, hide underground launchers, and harden command and control infrastructure.
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