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Hamas Smuggling Materials for Terror Tunnels Through Israel

Cut off from many of its preferred smuggling routes, the terror organization Hamas had recently been smuggling supplies to rebuild its rocket arsenal and network of terror tunnels through Israel’s Kerem Shalom crossing, Avi Issacharoff of The Times of Israel reported today.

Excavating tunnels requires — along with working hands and some shovels — steel cables. Tons of steel cables. And engines, pulley blocks, batteries, concrete or wooden panels, metal pallets and various chemicals.

The manufacture of rockets, meanwhile, requires electrodes, explosive materials and rocket fuel, among other things.

Hamas was managing to smuggle all those things into the Gaza Strip until fairly recently — not through tunnels from Sinai or by sea, but from Israel via Kerem Shalom.

Because of Egypt’s intensive anti-smuggling efforts, Hamas has been forced to look for alternative ways to smuggle in contraband. Kerem Shalom has emerged as one of the alternatives. Issacharoff reported that Israeli authorities discovered an attempt to smuggle in enough fuel for nearly 4,500 rockets.

Hamas, according to Issacharoff, has set up a network of Palestinian merchants within Israel—some with the knowledge that they are working with the terror organization—to ship products and materials that can be used to help Hamas rebuild its terror infrastructure. Issacharoff also reported that Israeli security officials believe that Hamas may have already rebuilt one or two tunnels since the end of Operation Protective Edge last summer.

Hamas has prioritized rebuilding its terror infrastructure over rebuilding homes that were destroyed in last year’s fighting.

[Photo: Tzuk Eitan_2014 / YouTube ]