By Anav Silverman –
Tazpit News Agency –
On the one year anniversary following the heavy rocket bombardment of Israeli cities and Israel’s Operation of Pillar Defense in November 2012, Al Jazeera recently ran a revealing television report about Hamas. The Hamas military wing shed some more light about its new strategy of terror against Israel – a special Hamas operative unit that specializes in digging tunnels.
Al Jazeera, a media network based in Qatar, sent a correspondent to accompany a group of Hamas diggers who were filmed preparing infrastructure for firing rockets below ground. Using electric jackhammers to dig a tunnel through the packed rock, sand and soil, the Hamas operatives described their preparation for the inevitable next round of hostilities with Israel. They can spend weeks at a time underground without being detected explained one operative.
The offensive tunnels are created for the purpose of kidnapping Israeli soldiers, and are a central part of Hamas’s military strategy, according to the Hamas military spokesperson, Abu Ubaida in the Al Jazeera report.
In addition to the Al Jazeera report, Hamas also held a huge military rally in the Gaza Strip during the past weekend marking the anniversary of Operation Pillar of Defense. Several thousand well-equipped fighters from Hamas’s military wing paraded M75 missile and multiple-rocket launchers. Senior Hamas official Mahmoud Al-Zahar declared that the Hamas military would “reach out for all of Palestine.”
“Every day [that] passes brings us closer to the liberation of Jerusalem,” added senior Hamas military commander, Raed Saa’ed.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu stated last week that since Operation Pillar of Defense, the security situation in the area has significantly improved. There has been a 98 percent decrease in the amount of rocket and missile fire from Gaza during the past 12 months.
Netanyahu, however added that despite the relative calm, “we are not deluding ourselves” as Hamas develops an “underground track” of tunnels to carry out attacks. The Israeli prime minister also pointed out that the terrorist organization is also manufacturing and storing rockets in the residential areas of Gaza.