Hamas Factories ‘Operating Night and Day’ in Preparation for Next War With Israel
Since last summer’s conflict with Israel, Gaza-based terror group Hamas has been tirelessly working to restore and build up its strength in advance of its next showdown with the Jewish state.
According to media watchdog MEMRI, Hamas leaders have boasted of renewing their excavation of attack tunnels and manufacture of rockets, in addition to building up their weapons stores in anticipation of war. Though Hamas is attempting to stay out of a military escalation with Israel at the present time, the group’s senior officials have stressed the need for ongoing arms development, and are bragging that their weapons factories are producing armaments almost non-stop.
MEMRI quoted Hamas interior minister Fathi Hammad saying, “Our hands are on the trigger and the Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam factories are operating night and day. The day will come and Israel will pay a high price.”
“The resistance is planning and preparing, and will continue the jihad always, in preparation for the next liberation battle…”, Hammad said.
Mahmoud Al-Zahar, a member of Hamas’ political bureau, emphasized this by saying, “The Palestinians must develop their weaponry so they can strike every inch of Palestine. This is our mission, and if we fail to carry it out, we will be betraying [the Palestinian people.” Al-Zahar noted that, “every year until Palestine is liberated,” the movement would ensure that “thousands” will join Hamas’ training camps.
Hamas has also begun rebuilding its vast offensive tunnel infrastructure, which was dealt a heavy blow by Israeli forces in last summer’s war. Al-Zahar said that, “Hamas has begun rebuilding and [further] developing the tunnels.”
According to Al-Risalah, a Hamas mouthpiece, Al-Qassam members are secretly digging tunnels around the clock, dozens of meters underground. Some are intended as strategic attack tunnels, for killing or kidnapping Israeli soldiers, or targeting deep within Israeli communities, and others are defensive tactical tunnels meant to conceal rocket launchers and mortars from Israeli aircraft.
Hamas has also stepped up the training of Gaza’s youth in preparation for its next conflict with Israel. According to reports cited by MEMRI, between January 20-27, 2015, Hamas’ Al-Qassam Brigades conducted military training for approximately 17,000 Gazan youths, aged 15-21, at dozens of “Pioneers of Liberation” training camps.
One Al-Qassam Brigades commander noted that they were recruiting as many teens as possible so that they could acquire military skills, train with live ammunition, and practice civil defense and first aid, adding that Hamas was “working to prepare a thousands-strong liberation army, based on an Islamic education.”