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Hamas Reportedly Working to Construct Weapons-Manufacturing Network Thousands of Miles From Israel

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

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A man hangs a poster depicting Hamas engineer Fadi al-Batsh, who was shot to death in Malaysia, on his family house in the northern Gaza Strip, April 21, 2018. Photo: Reuters / Mohammed Salem.

The Palestinian terrorist group Hamas is working to construct a weapons-manufacturing network as far as possible from Israel, a Yediot Ahronot reporter said on Thursday.

In a wide-ranging interview, reporter Ronen Bergman addressed the recent killing of Fadi al-Batsch in Malaysia. Al-Batsh was a Hamas engineer specializing in drone technology who was shot to death on Saturday by unknown assailants.

Bergman co-wrote a story in The New York Times published on Wednesday that appeared to confirm through anonymous sources that Israel’s Mossad intelligence service was behind the assassination.

Hamas is running a network of students seeking technical education and know-how in foreign countries, Bergman told Yediot Ahronot. This is for the purpose of constructing advanced weapons overseas, especially drones, that can be used against Israel.

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“Young people with an education who complete their academic and scientific education [overseas] acquire knowledge, conduct experiments, and are also involved in the purchasing systems, because technical knowledge is also required, in some cases this technical knowledge is very specific, accurate, and advanced,” Bergman said.

“The whole idea from Hamas’ point of view,” he added, “is to distance these centers as far as possible, thousands of kilometers, from Israel, as far as possible from the sensors of Israeli intelligence.”

Israel, he stated, was now determined to prevent this plan from succeeding. “The whole idea from the standpoint of Israeli intelligence,” he said, “is to harm this effort before it reaches its peak. … Israel is not prepared and will not agree that far from its borders Hamas will build labs and factories to manufacture sophisticated weapons.”

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