Hamas har brukt våpenhvilen til å importere store mengder våpen og sprengstoff. Iran har levert og trent Hamas-styrken som er doblet og langt mer profesjonell. Hamas drømmer om å gjøre som Hizbollah.
Den israelske hæren advarer regjeringen, men statsminister Olmert mener tiden ikke er inne til å foreta seg noe militært.
Hamas has exploited a period of relative calm to smuggle large numbers of anti-tank missiles and 30 tons of weapons-grade explosives into Gaza, using tunnels under the border with Egypt, Israeli security officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the issue with reporters.
Hamas has also nearly doubled its number of fighters to 10,000, the security officials said.
Last month, Israel’s southern commander, Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant, warned that
Iran is helping Hamas upgrade its fighting strength by providing technology, funding and direct military training.
Galant said the training and technology has enabled Hamas to grow from a ragtag militia into a well-organized group resembling an army — complete with battalions, companies, platoons and special forces for surveillance, snipers and explosive experts.
Also, the head of Israel’s Shin Bet internal security agency, Yuval Diskin, has said that dozens of Hamas operatives are going to Iran for training. He gave no proof for the allegation.
Shahwan, the Hamas spokesman, said members of the Palestinian security forces are being trained in Islamic countries, including Iran, but that not all are members of the Hamas unit.
But what worries the director of Shin Bet, the Israeli counterterrorism service, and the new commander of the Israeli military, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, is the way that Hamas is using the calm to consolidate its power in Gaza and enhance its military capacities — and not just to fight its Palestinian rival, Fatah.
The strengthening of Hamas and its consolidation of power in Gaza, reflected politically in Fatah’s decision to join Hamas as a junior partner in a coalition government, is a prime reason that Mr. Olmert is resisting a push from Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to talk seriously to the Palestinians about the substance of a peace treaty with Israel.
The continuing empowerment of Hamas is also behind Mr. Olmert’s reluctance to embrace the Arab League peace initiative reconfirmed Thursday at its summit meeting. Israelis may want peace in principle, but they are very reluctant to give up more territory in the occupied West Bank, as they have done in Gaza, to a Palestinian Authority dominated by a group unwilling to recognize Israel’s right to exist or to forswear the use of violence.