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March 15, 2015 10:48 pm

Six Months After Protective Edge, Hamas Says Bases Near Gaza Border Rebuilt

avatar by David Daoud

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Guns discovered by the IDF on a prayer rug in a basement prayer room of a mosque, protecting a secret tunnel. Photo: Screenshot / IDF.

Guns discovered by the IDF on a prayer rug in a basement prayer room of a mosque, protecting a secret tunnel. Photo: Screenshot / IDF.

Hamas’ “military wing”, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, issued a statement on Saturday claiming that many of its bases on Gaza’s border with Israel have been fully rebuilt, and asserting that it had recovered from Israel’s summer offensive.

The Brigades’ statement added that Hamas was “not afraid” of confronting the IDF again.

An official report on the Brigades’ website said that, “No sooner had the war ended, than the Qassam Brigades started a new stage of the conflict [with Israel] in preparation for the battle of liberation,” according to the Palestinian Maan news agency.

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The report claimed that Hamas fighters had rebuilt military training sites located near the border, to the north, east and west of the Gaza Strip, saying that this debunked Israel’s claims that “Operation Protective Edge” had caused serious damage to the terror group.

Israel’s stated aim behind last summer’s 50-day operation was to put an end to rocket fire emanating from Hamas-controlled Gaza against Israeli civilian towns bordering the Strip. According to Maan, Hamas claims that its rockets are a response to Israel’s continued “occupation” of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, despite the fact that Israel evacuated Gaza in 2005, and Hamas considers the whole of Israel “occupied territory.”

At the end of the Operation, Hamas and other associated militant groups in Gaza were still firing rockets into Israeli territory, and Hamas claimed victory despite suffering extensive losses to its personnel and arsenal. Both Israel and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said that Hamas had suffered a serious blow during the conflict.

However, during the war, Hamas demonstrated an increase in its military prowess over past engagements with the IDF. Its new and more daring tactics took the lives of 66 Israeli soldiers.

Hamas’ improved performance during last summer’s war, as well as the speed with which it is rebuilding, is indicative of outside aid to the group, mainly from Iran and Hezbollah. Hamas and Iran have both recently admitted that the Islamic Republic armed the group during the war, and ties between the two sides have been put back on track after experiencing some tensions over Iran’s support for the Assad regime in the Syrian civil war.

The report by Hamas added that the group plans to continue military training near the border “without fear of the occupation’s threats,” adding that the training sites were being upgraded so they could host “all the training the mujahideen could need.”

The report also claimed that Israeli residents near the Gaza border had begun to “panic” after hearing the sounds of missiles and explosions coming from the training sites, and quoting Israeli media said that the Israelis, “complained about Hamas preparing for the coming war.”

The main grouping of training sites are known as Al-Yarmouk, and are located east of the Shujaiyya neighborhood of Gaza City, the location of intense battles between the IDF and Hamas during last summer’s war.  The other site has been dubbed “Palestine” and is located near the site of the former Israeli settlement of Nisanit, which was evacuated during Israel’s 2005 Disengagement from the Gaza Strip.

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  • Sofia

    Once again hamas will hide behind women and children, they like Isis have no respect for human lives, except to use them for their victories. Cowards and hate mongers, may they go to Allah as soon as possible, with their 72 virgins.

  • Otto Schiff

    Hamas is suicidal. I wish them succes.

  • Max

    No wonder hamas feels so confident. After all, they hide underneath the skirts of their women, behind their children, in civilian homes, mosques and hospitals. And when the IDF bombs those locations, the idiotically naive international community is up in arms, accusing the IDF of killing women and children. With such cowardly tactics hamas and its fellow butchers can carry this on, seemingly forever.

    Israel has no choice other than to reoccupy Gaza, even if this proves costly. Long-term it would be much more costly if this annual re-enactment is allowed to continue indefinitely.

  • George Haas

    Next HAMAS military madness; Israel needs to halt all material going into gaza and cut off fuel and electricity to keep those unproductive thugs totally in the dark!!!

  • Michael

    Just when you thought humans couldn’t get any stupider, Hamas shows up. These trolls are masochists that deserve to live in the world of deprivation and pain they have chosen for themselves and their families.

    Life is about choices and consequences. Hamas is paying the consequences for the poor choices it continues to make.

  • Ethan Coane

    After the P.R. pasting Israel took in many media outlets of the world press and among some gov’ts. after Operation Protective Edge, I wonder how many of those who were so condemnatory of the IDF’s “human rights abuses” and “overkill” tactics are being exposed to the same Hamas public pronouncements as are cited in The Algemeiner. How many more Hamas provocations will it take before Israel’s harshest critics accept that when it comes to prospects for peace, Abba Eban had it right when he said, “The Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity”?

  • The time has come to sanitize Gaza. Give each family $10,000 to relocate to Jordan, the other part of Palestine as determined by the all knowing Brits that determined all national borders in the middle east including ISRAEL. Then rebuild Gaza to Israeli standards as it was before the give away. One nation for one people!!!

  • RobiMac

    Well, it looks like the IDF gets to tear them up again.

  • James

    When the next confrontation comes, Israel should re-occupy the Philadelphi corridor and cut Gaza off completely from the outside world. It should also announce that any subsequent confrontations would lead to further territory being seized. If new settlements went into these territories, it might demonstrate to the Palestinian people just how successful Hamas has been at liberating “Palestine”.

  • Leo Toystory

    Israel should start publishing aerial photographs of these bases with information on their proximity to civilian structures such as homes, schools, hospitals, playgrounds and mosques.

  • Larry

    And how many destroyed homes has Hamas rebuilt. While Hamas is busy preparing for the next confrontation with Israel, Hamas waits for UN agencies to rebuild Gaza.

  • Historian

    Israel will just have to destroy them again. I wonder how many people they will lie about being killed this time?
    Israel needs to take back Gaza and eliminate (exterminate) Hamas terrorist PERIOD!

  • DockyWocky

    I wonder how far under the ground surface enhanced radiation weapons can effectively sterilize?

  • Dr.M.Otero

    Israel is seen as occupied in this report. How does one negotiate with anyone who begins with this as his ultimate stated objective?

  • HaroldT38

    Why have the Israeli’s not bombed it. Are they waiting for kidnappings before taking action ?

  • art

    So much for international guarantees about rebuilding the gaza. The eu and qatar promised that their oversight would prevent hamas etc from using concrete rebars etc for their military purposes. Also note the silence of the guarantors

  • 10

    WHAT THE ARAB LEADERS DID TO THE MIDDLE EAST THEY WANT TO DO THE SAME IN ISRAEL. GET RID OF THE PALESTINIAN ARABS IN GOVERNMENT SO ISRAEL CAN BE PROTECTED INSIDE.

  • It is appalling that Hamas puts all its efforts to more war rather then rebuilding Gaza from the last one that was due to their incitements.

  • Michael Garfinkel

    The Netanyahu government made the decision to leave Hamas intact in Gaza.

    They asked for this, and they are getting what they asked for.

  • shloime

    and hamas’ bragging comes just in time for the election, what a surprise!

  • June Grant

    Hamas obviously believes it is more worthy to rebuild tunnels and armaments to take down Israel than it is to build homes, hospitals, and schools for their citizens. Of course if they were so misguided as to rebuild, they would lose the amazing PR advantage of showing the rubble and homeless Gazans to the world.

  • Pierre Elie Mamou

    hamasfatah bases rebuilt with world’s money, we will bomb you once more but I think you’ll better use your dollars for studying a little, it usually serves in real life

  • Jonah

    The only help they need now is for the Liberal Israeli voter to sign his own death warrant at the ballet box. God cannot help you if you, by your own choice decide to die.

  • Yeah, like the savages they are, they’re more than willing to put their population thru another beating as their leaders hide like the cowards they are behind women and children.

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