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Hamas long-range rockets are 'not sophisticated technology,' says expert

Stratfor's Kamran Bokhari on the military support being given to militants


As Israel steps up its campaign in Gaza to eliminate Hamas’ ability to launch rockets, Fox News National Security Analyst KT McFarland spoke to Kamran Bokhari about Hamas’ capabilities

Bokhari is the vice president of Middle Eastern and South Asian Affairs at the geopolitical intelligence firm Stratfor.

Officials believe Hamas had 10,000 rockets at the start of the conflict, and now has about 5,000 rockets -- enough to keep going for weeks. Israel says about 2,600 rockets and mortars have been fired so far toward Israel. 

Israel has hit at least 4,100 sites in Gaza -- including 1,566 sites connected to militant rocket-launching.

“This time around, we’ve seen far more numbers of rockets that are long-range,” said Bokhari.

He believes, however, they have just modified their existing rockets to increase their range.

“They’re compensating more on the warhead -- if you have less of a payload or warhead then you can increase the range … this is [more about] modifications, it’s not sophisticated technology.”


Israeli military officials have said Hamas relies on financing and arms supplies from Iran, Syria and Lebanon.

"Iran has been supplying Hamas with initially entire rockets, but eventually it appears that it’s gotten down to supplying just spare parts," said Bokhari. "A lot of the rockets are manufactured inside the Gaza Strip, but recently concluded that Iran might not be the only supplier here. But it’s difficult to tell at this point who the second or third supplier is."

There is growing concern Hamas might be working with jihadist groups in nearby Egypt to boost its strength.

“There is no shortage of Salafist or jihadist militias inside Gaza and [on] the Sinai Peninsula where the Egyptian jihadists are based. If you look at the confluence of all these geographic entities, and then it’s not a far fetch that if Hamas is weakened and loses control over the Gaza Strip, then we are looking at far more dangerous actors,” said Bokhari.

Chris Snyder is a producer for Fox News based in New York. Follow him on twitter: @ChrisSnyderFox