The Gazan terror groups have restocked their arsenal of rockets to where they had been before the last war with Israel, according to a Wall Street Journal report on Tuesday (Rejuvenated Hamas Tests Israel in High-Stakes Brinkmanship).
Citing current and former Israeli officials, the newspaper suggests the rearming is part of a Hamas pressure campaign to relax the tight Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip.
Through smuggling via their tunnels that lead into Egyptian territory, as well as local manufacturing, Hamas and the Islamic Jihad have brought their stock back up to an estimated 10,000 rockets, out of which hundreds are capable of reaching major Israeli population centers. The rest are short- and medium-range missiles.
Meanwhile, according to Al Akhbar, a daily Arabic language newspaper published in Beirut, the Saudi government has declared war on Hamas, with a campaign of arrests and freezing of bank accounts belonging to the terror group’s members living on Saudi soil.
According to Al Akhbar, Riyadh has launched “a crazy campaign that also includes arrests and deportations, a freeze on accounts and the prevention and control of remittances. On the other hand, Hamas, with the help of Tehran and Hezbollah, is trying to make a breakthrough in terms of its relationship with its archenemy: Damascus.”
“The Saudi campaign against Saudis and Palestinians living in the kingdom has been going on for more than two months, with a series of arrests of dozens of individuals accused of involvement in the Hamas movement,” Al Akhbar reported Tuesday morning. “The most prominent of these is a consultant named Muhammad al-Khudari, 80, who represented the movement in Saudi Arabia in the mid-1990s until 2003. Despite leaving the man alone for years, he is now in detention under ‘difficult conditions,’ according to family sources.”
“According to sources that wished to remain anonymous, the Saudi government’s campaign of arrests coincided with the closure and tight control over the detainees’ bank accounts, and a ban on their sending any money from the Kingdom to the Gaza Strip,” Al Akhbar reported.
“Al-Akhbar has learned that the number of individuals accused of collecting donations and managing funds for Hamas in Saudi Arabia exceeds 60 and includes both Palestinians and Saudis. The authorities accused them of ‘supporting a terrorist movement and money laundering in support of terrorism and extremism.’ Over the past two years, more than 100 Palestinians have been deported from the kingdom, most of them accused of supporting the resistance financially, politically or through social networking sites. Since the end of 2017, Riyadh has imposed tight control on Palestinian funds in the kingdom. All transfers to the so-called ‘Palestinian foreigners’ have been tightly controlled, not only to the Gaza Strip but also to all the countries of the world. Money transfer offices are asking the Palestinians to provide convincing arguments to be permitted to exchange cash, and limit money transfers to not more than $3,000,” Al Akhbar reported.
The Al-Akhbar source attributed the Saudi campaign against Hamas to the failure of an Egyptian attempt a year ago to convince the Gaza Terror factions to abandon Iran in return for Saudi and Emirates funds that would be pumped into the Strip.