- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 29, 2009

JERUSALEM (AP) - A top Israeli security official says Hamas militants have smuggled nearly 70 tons of bomb-making material into Gaza since Israel ended its military offensive in January.

The assessment by Yuval Diskin, head of the Shin Bet security agency, is likely to add to a growing feeling among Israelis that the offensive ended too early. Diskin says Hamas has smuggled in 22 tons of explosives and 45 tons of other bomb-making materials since the operation ended.

He spoke to the Israeli Cabinet Sunday and meeting participants shared his assessment on condition of anonymity because the meeting was closed.

The aim of the offensive was to halt Palestinian rocket fire and end weapons smuggling. But Diskin’s report was the latest sign the operation failed to meet its goals.

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