Evaluating the Danger from Gaza’s Weapons Stockpile

The fighting between Israel and Gaza that took place from May 10-21, known in Israel as Operation Guardian of the Walls (OGW), proved that Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) maintain a large, diverse, and growing arsenal of projectiles of increasing range that can be fired in coordinated salvos intended to overwhelm Israel’s robust air defenses. These advancements in Palestinian rocket technology threaten Israel’s ability to deter future conflicts and defend against attacks when they occur; they are also a harbinger of the much more devastating potential conflict with Hezbollah on Israel’s northern front.

Israel’s ability to deter and defend itself against these growing rocket arsenals, while abiding by the law of armed conflict, requires pairing advanced air defenses with offensive capabilities that can accurately target rocket production sites, depots and launchers spread widely across Gaza and embedded within densely-populated zones. The United States should support Israel’s deterrence by not only replenishing its supply of Iron Dome interceptors but also by expanding its air defense and precision munition capabilities.

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JINSA Staff Contributors

Blaise Misztal – Vice President for Policy
Charles Perkins – Director for U.S.-Israel Security Policy
Jonathan Ruhe – Director of Foreign Policy
Ari Cicurel – Senior Policy Analyst
Yoni Weiner-Tobin – Research Intern