Israel Faces Palestinian Militants with Expanded Arsenal

(Reuters) Adam Entous - Israeli troops in Gaza face Palestinian militants who are much better armed than last year, Israeli officials and analysts say. Israeli defense officials estimate militants have smuggled in hundreds of shoulder-fired anti-tank missiles, thousands of assault rifles, and tons of high explosive since Israel's Gaza "disengagement" in September 2005. Maj. Matan Gorodish told Reuters militants had only a few dozen anti-tank missiles before Israel's withdrawal. "Now they have hundreds of them," he said. According to Israel's internal security service, militants have brought into Gaza at least 3 million bullets, nearly 20,000 assault rifles, 430 rocket-propelled grenades, and several shoulder-fired [anti-aircraft] rocket launchers. A Western security source called these numbers "underestimates."

2006-06-29 00:00:00

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