Egyptian media outlets reported Sunday that Hamas' military wing test-fired a rocket into the Sinai Peninsula from the neighboring Gaza Strip two weeks ago. The rocket, according to the reports, was fired toward central Sinai from the Rafiah area in south Gaza, and was capable of reaching further distances than any other missile in Hamas' rocket arsenal.
Hamas sources in Gaza called the test launch a success after the rocket landed dozens of kilometers from the Gaza border. The new-model rocket, according to the reports, was developed in Gaza based on knowledge from dismantled long-range missiles smuggled into Gaza from Libya.
One month ago, two Grad rockets believed to have been fired from Sinai into southern Israel were discovered near Ovda and Mitzpe Ramon, after penetrating deeper into Israel than ever before.
The rockets hit unpopulated areas, causing no injuries or damage, but the targets appeared to indicate that Sinai-based terror organizations, perhaps operating in conjunction with Hamas, were expanding their range.
Another theory was that Hamas, looking to draw Israeli fire away from Gaza while still launching rockets, was developing longer range rockets that could be fired from deep inside Sinai and still hit Israeli towns.
The head of the Defense Ministry's Diplomatic-Security Bureau, Amos Gilad, however, voiced skepticism at the time over the identity of the culprits.
"There are many extremist elements in Sinai that are interested in complicating the region, whether al-Qaida or Hamas; some are working for Iran and Hezbollah," Gilad said.
Meanwhile, Palestinian sources in the West Bank said on Sunday that Israeli security forces raided the home of Hamas parliamentarian Ahmed Mubarak in Ramallah late Saturday night, arresting him on suspicion of endangering Israel's security. Hamas and the Palestinian Authority condemned Israel over Mubarak's arrest.