Fifth day of Israel’s ceasefire for humanitarian corridor Sunday

debkafile‘s military sources report that Israel announced Wednesday, Jan. 7 a three-hour daily halt in military operations from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. as a goodwill gesture for the passage of humanitarian aid. Israel will suspend attacks in certain areas – though not the entire territory – to allow people to get supplies. The measure took immediate effect, was repeated Thursday for two hours and again Saturday, Jan. 10. More food, medicines and fuel supplies entered Gaza from Israel Wednesday.
The Israeli Gaza offensive has cut by half the daily missiles/ rocket level from Gaza by wiping out 60 percent of Hamas’ missile stocks, demolishing its production facilities and knocking out of action the Philadelphi smuggling tunnels on the Egyptian border. However, debkafile‘s military sources report that Hamas appears to have preserved an unused stock of Iran-made Fajr rockets capable of hitting central Israeli towns, such as Rehovot and Rishon Lezion, 16 km short of Tel Aviv.
And if the Israeli assaults on the Philadelphi border route were to be halted at this point, Hamas could restore part of its supply network within 3-6 weeks.
Tuesday, Jan. 5, Rehovot mayor Shuky Furer assured his town it was out of Hamas’ rocket range. Military sources are less confident. Whereas the Homeland Command decided to leave the town out of its emergency planning, intelligence sources do not rule out the possibility that Hamas has kept hidden in one of its bunkers long-range rockets with ranges of 70-75 km, which would put Rehovot and Rishon within their sights and also the nuclear installation at the Negev town of Dimona.
Suspicions of a concealed stock of Iranian-made Fajr-3 – or the more advanced Fajr-5 rockets – was strengthened Monday, when the Hamas military spokesman threatened to target Rehovot, Rishon Lezion and even Tel Aviv. At the same time, the stock cannot be very large and is likely preserved as a “doomsday weapon” against Hamas’ total collapse. External go-betweens have cautioned Hamas that firing long-distance weapons would provoke harsher retaliation than the Israeli Air Force has meted out till now.
Hizballah’s Hassan Nasrallah tried more than once to bomb Tel Aviv in the 2006 Lebanon War, but every time he set up a launcher, the Israeli air force struck them down. But the Faj-5 rockets he received from Iran did hit the sand dunes of Caesaria north of Tel Aviv, as well as Afula and the Jezreel Valley in northern Israel.

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