Hamas follows Hezbollah model


Hamas in the Gaza Strip is trying to emulate Hezbollah but has not yet reached the Lebanese militia’s capabilities, an Israeli official said.

Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter, a former Shin Bet intelligence chief, said Saturday that Hamas has been building its military capabilities in the Gaza Strip and he wants to see more intensive countermeasures by Israel.

“To the best of my knowledge, Hamas today has Katyusha rockets and other anti-tank and anti-aircraft weaponry, but not on a significant scale,” Dichter told Israel Radio. “They want to emulate Hezbollah in Lebanon.”

A top Israeli general said last Thursday that the window of opportunity for a major preventive assault on Hamas was closing, but Dichter said reoccupying Gaza should not be an option when it comes to responding to cross-border rocket fire by Palestinian terrorists in the strip.

What is needed, he said, is “more dramatic action, effecting a far different deterrent level to what is being achieved today.” However, Dichter added, “Israel must control the areas used for the launches, not conquer them.”

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