Two weeks after the IDF’s counter-terror operation Protective Edge in Gaza was halted by a ceasefire, a senior diplomatic source says that Hamas has renewed its production of rockets and the smuggling from Egypt, and is rebuilding its attack tunnels.
The terror group is smuggling in materials for restoring its rocket array, says the senior source. “Hamas did not wait a single moment after the last round of fighting, and began its rearmament in anticipation of another round [of fighting].”
The senior diplomatic source is quoted throughout Israeli media.
Hamas appears to be “daring” Israel to take action against it, even as indirect talks between Israel and Hamas are about to start, with the purpose of reaching a long term “arrangement.” It is not known, at this stage, whether Israel intends to take action against the rearming and the renewed tunnel digging.
Disarming Gaza is very unlikely, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said Sunday. Speaking to Voice of Israel public radio, Liberman said that demanding Gaza demilitarize was “unrealistic at this time, although the issue will remain on the table.” Liberman added that Israel must not give up in its efforts to dislodge Hamas from running Gaza and must work to remove the terror group from its control of the territory, even though polls show that Hamas has become much more popular among Gazans after Operation Protective Edge’s conclusion.
One way Hamas could be brought down several pegs, said Liberman, was by a refusal by Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas to continue his partnership with the Gaza terror group. Hamas, he said, was no less dangerous than ISIS, the Islamist terror group that controls wide areas of Iraq and Syria. Hamas was also dangerous to Abbas, whom the Gaza terrorists planned on replacing. For his own good, if not for Israel’s, Abbas should immediately break off his coalition with Hamas, Liberman said