Hamas Building Earthworks Near Israeli Village, as Official Laments Group’s Violent Path
Israelis living near the northern edge of the Gaza Strip are worried about new Palestinian earthworks being constructed about half a kilometer from their homes, Israel Radio said Tuesday.
Residents of the village of Nativ Ha’Asara, which has suffered hundreds of mortar shelling attacks which have killed and wounded several over the last decade, complained to IDF authorities that bulldozers and trucks were ferrying dirt to areas about 500 meters from the security fence which surrounds Gaza.
They are concerned that the batteries could be used for offensive firing positions in any future conflict with Israel, and noted the defiant hanging of Hamas flags along the areas in question.
The residents said that this is the first time they have seem Hamas openly working near the fence.
Residents also said they heard explosions and contended that Hamas was carrying out training in the near vicinity.
Army officials, however, said that they had not detected any unusual activity.
Israelis living in close proximity to the roughly 60 kilometer long enclave have also noted the deployment of surveillance balloons aimed at Israeli areas.
On Dec. 14th, The Israeli army scrambled aircraft to track an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) Hamas launched over the coastal enclave to celebrate the terror group’s 27th anniversary.
IDF officials were concerned that the motorized drone, launched during a military parade in Gaza City, could carry out surveillance or attack missions against Israeli targets.
In this case, the vehicle did not enter Israeli airspace.
The incident, part of a mass rally, joined a series of large-scale outdoor maneuvers and military rallies, and the test firing of numerous rockets out to sea.
Meanwhile, however, a senior Hamas official is charging that the Palestinians have not achieved any of their strategic goals through violent means, according to Israel’s Ch. 2 News.
Ghazi Hamad, deputy foreign minister in the Hamas government, on Wednesday published an article in which he noted a string of Palestinian failures over the years since the Oslo Accords.
“We have become a model dispute,” he wrote. “We disagree on every subject and drown in the details that prevent us from achieving an overall view.”
“Rather than get a state, we began to hope for a Security Council resolution which did not actually materialize,” he wrote, adding that “The Palestinians have lost their two main pillars: a strategic vision and a national consensus”.
“After six decades, Palestine is gone, and her blood was split between rival political clans,” he claimed.
“The lack of strategic vision is a national tragedy that we all are responsible for,” Hamad said, mocking both Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, “who looks for signatures for a country that does not exist, while Hamas is trapped within its faith in the ‘resistance.'”
“Both Fatah and Hamas,” he wrote, “are trying to clap with one hand,” adding that, through all of this, “Israel continues to enjoy wearing down the two movements together. We have become accustomed to running from failure to failure; we engage in speeches and cling to conspiracy theories.”