Today, Israeli security officials announced they had uncovered a weapons lab in Abu Dis, a Palestinian town near Jerusalem. The lab contained explosive devices and pipes used to produce rockets.
Until recently, Palestinian rocket activity was believed to be limited to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. However, Israelis have long feared that the rocket threat would migrate to the West Bank. Last July, Israelis arrested Gaza resident Sharif Ziada for attempting to smuggle Qassam rockets to the West Bank. As former Israeli Ambassador to Washington, Sallai Meridor, told inFOCUS, Palestinian rocket fire originating from the West Bank would put “95 percent of the Israeli population…under constant terror threat,” creating an existential threat to Israel’s security.
To date, at least 4,722 rockets have hit Israel since Hamas began firing them in April 2001.