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Report: Israeli official says Hamas better equipped than before
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12:04, February 09, 2008

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The Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) has continued boosting its military strength and its members are better equipped than before, local daily Yedioth Ahronoth quoted a defense official as reporting on its website on Friday.

"We can see Hamas' progress every time they (Hamas members) come into contact with IDF (Israel Defense Forces) soldiers in the(Gaza) Strip," the defense official said on condition of anonymity.

"We can see that they are more highly skilled people who are better equipped than before and operate like an army," the official added.

Though officials in Israel who have been analyzing the situation believe that the Islamic group is not at its peak at this time, security officials have warned that Hamas members are constantly working to prepare themselves for a possible large-scale IDF ground operation.

Meanwhile, the report said Israeli defense establishment is dealing with an increasing number of warnings regarding Hamas' plans to carry out a major attack in the Gaza Strip.

"We know that Hamas prepared several 'contingency attacks' -that is, an attack that is ready for execution and merely requires a decision to carry it out," the official was quoted as saying.

Therefore, the attitude towards Hamas' potential is serious and the Israeli defense establishment is treating the issue with the utmost seriousness, the official added.

Source: Xinhua

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