At Upcoming Military Parade, Hamas Will Roll Out Its Tank and Helicopter
In an attempt to demonstrate its strength, Hamas is preparing a parade in Gaza in which it will display its sole helicopter and tank, Israel’s NRG news portal reported.
According to the report, Gaza sources said on Tuesday that Hamas had restored the private helicopter of deceased Palestinian Authority president Yasser Arafat in order to display it before the Palestinian public. A security source in the Gaza Strip notified reporters that the helicopter is now being held at a secure location in the western part of Gaza, and will be displayed in the march, which will “be held soon.”
Saeb Abu Rakba, a resident of Gaza, told reporters that the helicopter, “had been lying in disrepair for years on the Gazan coast, filled with dirt and dust,” according to NRG. Other residents, like Muhammad Saqer, expressed their joy over Gazans having a helicopter of their own, saying that Hamas should “display the helicopter in a more prominent place, so that the residents of Gaza will be able to see it and be filled with pride.”
Hamas will also be parading around a fabricated tank of their own creation, alongside the helicopter. Photos of the tank, which is located at one of the bases of Hamas’ Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades appeared on social media in recent days. According to reports, the tank is most likely not operational, but a mock-up structure used by Hamas gunmen in training to take over armored vehicles.
This display of military strength by Hamas comes in the wake of rising threats from Gazan groups linked to the Islamic State terror network to attack Hamas for imprisoning members of the Salafist organization.
Additionally, mysterious explosions have struck Hamas locations in the Gaza Strip after the threats were issued against the group.
Meanwhile, Hamas set up dozens of roadblocks and checkpoints across the Strip, and has arrested suspected Salafists over the explosions. A security source in Gaza explained that “the security deployment and setting up roadblocks is meant to catch those responsible for the [recent] bombings in the Streets of Gaza. The security forces arrested dozens of Salafists, among them five who admitted during interrogation that they were responsible for the bombings.”
The source also insisted that “Salafists in Gaza have no contact with ISIS. There is no ISIS organization in the Gaza Strip.”