TEL AVIV – With Hamas slowly running out of rockets, the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorist organization is sending cells to the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula to possibly open a new front against the Jewish state, according to informed Middle Eastern security officials.
The officials said Hamas is thought to have between 4,000 to 6,000 long-range rockets remaining in its arsenal, enough for between 40 to 60 days of sustained attacks against Israel if it launches about 100 rockets per day.
With the borders to Gaza currently closed, Iran is concerned Hamas may not be able to keep up a sustained rocket war against Israel if such a lengthy conflict is necessary.
The Middle Eastern security officials said Hamas believes Israel does not want a full-blown war, betting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will sue for a truce before Israeli schools re-open in two weeks. Hamas believes the Israeli public will be less supportive of a war with children returning to the classrooms, the officials said.
However, in the case of a longer conflict, Hezbollah is prepping cells in the Sinai Peninsula capable of launching its own rocket war and possibly widening the front against Israel, said the officials.
The officials said there is information Hezbollah cells could even launch attacks from the Sinai in the coming days, perhaps to signal to Israel what is in store without a truce.
The information comes as Netanyahu said Tuesday Israel will continue to respond to rocket fire.
“Our policy regarding Hamas is simple: If you fire, we will hit back,” he said. “They think they will exhaust us, but they are wrong.”
“The operation did not end,” he said. “Our struggle against terror groups is a long and goes back many years. In recent weeks we have dealt Hamas a massive blow, the most serious blow since their establishment. We are determined to continue and use any means needed.”