Photo: Reuters
Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar
Photo: Reuters

Hamas stages large-scale surprise drill with other Gaza groups

Strip-wide exercise sees land crossings closed, fisherman banned from entering the sea; group hails its performance in 2014 war with Israel, says it has not stopped making preparations for future conflicts

Hamas held an unprecedented military exercise in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, in which all members of the coastal enclave's military organizations participated.



As part of the exercise, all the land crossings were closed and fishermen were banned from entering the sea.


Archive: Hamas fighters drilling in Gaza  (Photo: EPA)
Archive: Hamas fighters drilling in Gaza (Photo: EPA)


The exercise envisaged a large-scale security incident in the Gaza Strip, and according to the joint operations unit for all Gaza organizations, the exercise was conducted successfully.


The head of the Gaza fishermen's union confirmed to Ynet that the Interior Ministry in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip had banned fishermen from entering the sea. He said that the ban was in place until further notice.


The drill took place a day after Israel announced the discovery of another tunnel dug into its territory from the Gaza Strip.


The IDF Spokesperson's Unit said the tunnel, which originates in the southern Strip, was uncovered on the Israeli side of the border during construction of an underground barrier to prevent such excavations from taking place.


The tunnel was found in an area in which many similar excavations have been discovered over the last 20 years.




At this stage, it appears that this is an old tunnel, not one that was recently excavated or was intended to be used by Hamas in the near future.


"The tunnel does not pose a threat and is being handled by the IDF," said Eshkol Regional Council, a community close to the Gaza border.


"The tunnel was located thanks to groundbreaking technological defenses that are being used along the Gaza border to protect our communities," the council said.


"We thank the IDF soldiers and officers who act resolutely and with courage to defend our communities."


Meanwhile, the military wing of Hamas issued a short statement Tuesday as Israel marked the fifth anniversary of the 2014 Gaza war, known as Operation Protective Edge, and released the findings of an investigation into a botched raid in the Gazan city of Khan Yunis in November 2018, which led to the death of IDF Lt. Col. M.


A still taken from Hamas footage of the IDF raid in Khan Yunis in November 2018
A still taken from Hamas footage of the IDF raid in Khan Yunis in November 2018


"Our people and the resistance experienced heroic fighting during the Protective Edge campaign, which shocked both our enemy and our friends," said Hamas.


"Since the end of the (2014) campaign, we have not stopped our preparations or our battle of wills with Israel. This was seen in the strength of the resistance in Khan Yunis, whose ramifications still shake the foundations of Israel's defense establishment and army," the group said.


"The capabilities that the resistance still retains (and have not yet been revealed) are very powerful."




פרסום ראשון: 07.09.19, 21:21
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