Hamas has unveiled a new 3.5km-long fortified tunnel that it claims extends into Israeli territory, as reports emerge that the terror group has been massing troops on the Israeli border and re-arming in preparation for its next conflict with Israel.
Hamas members told Al-Alam, Iran’s Arabic language channel that the tunnel will be used in the “next round” of violence with Israel.
According to recent reports the presence of armed Hamas troops has increased on the Gaza-Israel border, where some are participating in training camps very close to the border, such as the camp established on the ruins of Dugit, a Jewish settlement evacuated in 2005.
Security sources detail that Hamas’s military wing has been conducting infantry and urban warfare exercises at the levels of platoon, company and division. The news introduces the possibility that Hamas will attempt during the next war with Israel to raid an Israeli community or army base, killing as many civilians or soldiers as possible, as well as its existing operating methods of commando raids from tunnels, sea and air.
The reports state that the training in urban warfare that Hamas troops are undergoing — throwing grenades into buildings, then shooting — is similar to the exercises of Israel’s own infantry troops.
During last summer’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, Israel destroyed 33 of Hamas’s terror tunnels, which were designed to allow ground infiltration of Israel; facilitating attacks and kidnappings of Israeli civilians.