Hamas is using the current period of political and military calm – most recently locked in by a unity pact between the terror group and its rival Fatah faction – to build a missile arsenal that can blanket population centers throughout Israel during any future conflagration, according to remarks made by IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz on Monday:
Gantz said Hamas in the Gaza Strip was not looking for another war with Israel, but terrorists there were still undertaking a “dramatic” replenishing of their missile stockpiles.
In Gaza there was has been “a dramatic increase in medium- and long-range rockets,” he said.
The recent Palestinian unity deal – publicly aimed at paving the way for elections throughout the Gaza Strip and West Bank – saw Fatah abandoning its long-standing demand that Hamas put its fighters and missile arsenal under Ramallah’s control. Hamas officials quickly bragged that they had secured a kind of “Hezbollah model,” boasting that the Iran-backed Lebanese group had used a similar arrangement – allowing the central government to establish civil authority, even while maintaining an overwhelming military presence – to dominate the political and security institutions of Lebanon.
Meanwhile a top Israeli security source revealed on Sunday that Hamas was also moving to establish a shadow civilian infrastructure throughout the West Bank:
“In the long run, Hamas intends to create an alternative civilian infrastructure that will enable the replacement of the PA’s secular government with an Islamic government whose ideology will be similar to that of Hamas,” according to the Israel Security Agency (ISA) – aka the Shabak.
“The Dawa network – Hamas’ socio-economic infrastructure – is a central element in Hamas’ activity and a principal method employed to achieve its goals,” according to the ISA, who contend that “Hamas’ Dawa activity appears to bequeath Islamic education and values to the Palestinians in order to make them more religious.”
“Hamas’ goal is to expand and strengthen its status among the Palestinians, bring them closer to its ideology, including the notion of Jihad against Israel, and even recruiting on its behalf supporters and partakers in terrorist activities,” according to the ISA.
[Photo: Carol Douglas / YouTube]