GAZA, March 1 (Xinhua) -- The military wing of Islamic Hamas movement on Monday said it is working on home-made rockets which can be fired on Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
"Having a Qassam rocket in the West Bank is a demand that must be achieved," Ezz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades said in a statement published on its website.
The statement came a week after security forces loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas arrested a Hamas cell while preparing to test-fire a rocket near Ramallah city. It was the first time that a home-made rocket be found in the West Bank ready to be fired.
Since 2007, Hamas controls the Gaza Strip while Abbas's Fatah party holds sway in the West Bank. The two sides cracks down against their dissidents in the two territories they control.
Meanwhile, the website quoted Mohammed Arman, a Hamas militant held by Israel, that "a rocket can be produced with an individual effort once enough information on making it are available." Serving a life sentence, Arman has authored a book about resistance from his prison.
In his book, Arman adds that the locally-produced rockets "have very big strategical effect despite their limited destructive power."
Israel works hard to prevent armed groups in the West Bank from arming themselves to protect its settlements there that would be largely vulnerable to rocket-fire since they pierce through Palestinian communities.
In December 2008, Israel waged a three-week military operation in the Gaza Strip to deter Hamas from firing rockets on Jewish towns near the Gaza Strip.
Hamas says it produces rockets in Gaza while Israel says Iran supports Hamas with arms through smuggling tunnels under Gaza- Egypt borders or through sea.