Ahead of Peace Summit Hamas Promises Deadlier Qassams
Hamas promises to make its Qassam rockets more deadly.
In the first six months of 2006 after Israel withdrew completely from Gaza, there were 500 Qassam rocket attacks on the city of Sderot, Israel. The city started collecting the spent rockets and has them stashed out back of the police station.
Hamas can make the rockets it fires at Israel much deadlier by packing them with more explosives, a senior official in the Islamic militant group said in a statement Saturday.
The official, Ahmed Yousef, made the threat just two days before the start of a U.S.-hosted Middle East peace conference in Annapolis, Maryland.
Israeli officials have warned that Hamas may try to disrupt the conference with more intense rocket fire. Gaza militants, including Hamas members, have fired hundreds of crude, homemade rockets at Israeli border communities in recent years, killing 12 people and disrupting life along the border.
In a statement sent to reporters, Yousef said that the rockets currently being fired have limited effect because they don’t carry lethal enough warheads.
“They can be developed in a short period to create sufficient terror and fear and make the Israelis live in pain no less than what our people live through because of the repeated incursions into our villages and cities in the West Bank and Gaza,” wrote Yousef, an adviser to deposed Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh.
The Palestinian brigades continued their assault on Israeli border towns this week. Several qassams were fired from Gaza into the Israeli towns Thursday night.