BERLIN, GERMANY - DECEMBER 06: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to the media with German Chancellor Angela Merkel (not pictured) following talks at the Chancellery on December 6, 2012 in Berlin, Germany. The German and Israeli governments are meeting today in Berlin for German-Israeli government consultations. (Credit: Getty Images)
Hundreds of Iranian-made, long-range missiles previously smuggled into Gaza prompted Israel to take military action against Hamas, intelligence experts told FoxNews.com. The Obama administration reportedly had full knowledge of Israel's secret motivation.
“The U.S. was fully aware of what was going to come in Gaza,” said Jonathan Schanzer, former counter-terrorism analyst at the U.S. Department of Treasury. “They said nothing for the first few days of the operation; there was dead silence from [Obama]."
Schanzer told FoxNews.com that Hamas' stockpile of long-range missiles, transported into Gaza via smuggling tunnels, was the real reason behind Israel's urgency in taking the fight to the designated terrorist group. The mission was to eliminate roughly 100 Iranian-built Fajr5 missiles, capable of reaching Tel Aviv. The weapons were reportedly smuggled into Gaza through Egypt.
FoxNews.com has more on this story:
Israel essentially achieved its main aims within the first few days, said Schanzer, noting that Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the U.S., said as much when he remarked on Day Three of the campaign: "We have run out of good targets.”
Rocket attacks from Gaza were commonplace in Israel prior to the campaign, dubbed "Operation Pillar of Defense," with at least 750 projectiles falling on the area close to the border since January. The attacks were ratcheted up in early November, which seemed to prompt Israel's move and the deployment of its vaunted "Iron Dome" defense system. But behind the scenes, the Israel Defense Force (IDF) had a more pressing need to launch their intense bombardment on Hamas’ weapons stores.
Israel's elimination of senior Hamas figure Ahmad Jabari as he drove in broad daylight in Gaza also fits into Schanzer's narrative.
“Ahmad Jabari, along with another major Hamas figure, Mahmoud al Mabhouhk, [who was assassinated in Dubai in 2010], was a key part of the procurement network for the Fajr missiles and there is little doubt that Israel was keen to take out the man responsible,” Schanzer explained.
Further, Schanzer argues the operation in Israel began three weeks before the military campaign began after a "Iranian-owned Yarmouk armaments factory" in Sudan was hit with devastating air strikes. The Sudanese government holds Israel responsible, however, both Israel and the U.S. deny any knowledge of the attack.
"The suggestion of American knowledge and approval of the alleged Israeli attack in Sudan and the subsequent offensive in Gaza, undermines the theory that Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were not on speaking terms after the elections, in which Netanyahu expressed support for Mitt Romney. The grave threat posed by the Fajr5 rockets may have been enough for both leaders to agree that something had to be done – and fast," the report states.
Additionally, the Sudanese factory occurred at exactly the same time that a joint Israeli/U.S. military exercise, "Austere Challenge," was occurring.
“The fact of the matter is that there was a significant upsurge in rocket fire from Gaza in the weeks leading up to the operation...Once the need to respond was there, it made sense to take the opportunity to act against the most dangerous weapons. Those (the Fajr rockets) were the first targets. There was a need to minimize their ability to target major population centers in Israel," an Israeli administration source told FoxNews.com.
To read Fox News' full report, click here.