JERUSALEM - The Islamic Jihad organization has begun producing rockets with a longer range, capable of carrying larger amounts of explosive, Israeli military officials say.
The new rockets are believed to have been employed at least three times since the end of the recent Israeli military operation in Gaza, Ynetnews reported.
The Qassam rockets used by groups in Gaza for the last few years carry about 11 pounds of explosives and have a 4.5 inch caliber. The new ones can carry a payload of 22 pounds and have a 6.5-inch caliber.
"The fact that they are able to produce their own long-range rockets is disturbing and worrying," an army official said. "There is no doubt that the smuggling of arms through the Philadelphi route and the breached border in the area are a significant weak spot and a major channel for terrorists. As time passes, the terror organizations will continue to become more established and sophisticated."
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