Corroborating reports from the Jerusalem Post
and the Associated Press
state that portable surface to air missile launchers indicate that a "significant" number of small anti-aircraft weapons may have been smuggled into the narrow Gaza Strip from Libya over the past year.
The Israeli military has to date refused to give a comment regarding a report that indicates one of the Israeli Air Force's military helicopters came under fire from a Strela SA-7 portable missile launcher last week.
Some 20,000 of such weapons are unaccounted for in Libya according to the White House. Many militants have refused to give their weapons to the central government and many may have been smuggled to the Gaza Strip through the Sinai Peninsula.
Hamas has long been suspected of possessing such weapons, but has not previously until this recent event used such weapons in an attempt to bring down Israeli aircraft.
The Jerusalem Post quoted terrorism expert Yoram Schweitzer as saying that, "Certainly, the threat of anti-aircraft missiles is a serious worry, but it won't disrupt the air force's activities over Gaza."