Hamas prepares for a future confrontation: Restores its tunnels and rocket stockpiles

Israel estimates that Mohammed Deif survived the assassination attempts during Operation Protective Edge and has returned to duty with the military wing of Hamas. At the same time, Hamas is working to rebuild its capabilities to match its pre-Protective Edge state 

Israeli media reported that Mohammed Deif, the Hamas leader, who's wife and son were killed during an assassination attempt that was carried out as part of Operation Protective Edge last summer, survived the attack and has returned to duty with the terrorist organization in Gaza. According to reports, Israeli officials estimate that Deif is once again taking part in the planning process of the military wing of Hamas.

Furthermore, it is estimated that nine months after the fighting in Gaza, Hamas has returned to full activity – filling the stockpiles of rockets and digging both offensive and defensive tunnels to replace those destroyed by Israel during the operation. According to Israeli estimates, Hamas is investing more money than before in its tunnel project, and is employing over a thousand tunnel-diggers who work around the clock in three shifts, six days a week.

Regarding rocket, Hamas has initiated a tremendous operation of self-production of rockets in order to fill its stockpiles. Hamas is concentrating its efforts in producing short-range rockets – that have proven effective against the "Iron Dome" during  Protecting Edge, but the organization is also working on producing rockets with a range of 75 km that can reach the central district and Jerusalem, and rockets with a range of up to 150 km – that can reach Haifa in the north. There is an Israeli assessment that Hamas may try to test the "Iron Dome" in a future confrontation by trying to simultaneously launch barrages of rockets from various locations in the Gaza Strip at a single target in Israel, in order to be able to (partially) penetrate the protective layer of the Israeli system.

And what about the force built-up of the terrorist organization? Israel believes that Hamas is trying to strengthen its array of unmanned aircraft, assisted by experts who arrived to Gaza from Iran and Syria.