Terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip are on high alert amid fears that the current calm could deteriorate, reported Al-Araby Al-Jadeed (The New Arab) on Friday.
Checkpoints have been set up throughout the Strip where security forces are inspecting passing cars in measures that have only been used twice in Gaza: once after the head of Hamas's Al-Qassam Brigades was assassinated and again after the failed Khan Yunis operation.
Even though the situation is relatively calm, the terrorist groups believe that Israel intends to surprise Gaza. They are considering a number of difference scenarios, according to Al Araby. Training exercises in the Strip have also increased recently.
The terrorist groups, especially the Al-Qassam Brigades, have called on members to be cautious, to raise the level of their personal security and not to approach the border with Israel. The groups fear that assassinations could be carried out by Palestinian collaborators or that "other infiltration" into Gaza could occur, according to Al-Araby. The groups fear that Israel could carry out kidnappings of Gaza officials as well.
Security measures along the coast and the borders have been increased as well amid fears of an Israeli infiltration.
Yahya Sinwar, a leader of the Hamas terrorist group, has remained out of sight for over four months, according to Al-Araby, except for a meeting with the Qatari envoy Mohammad Al-Emadi about three weeks ago, which was not covered by the press.
According to Al-Araby, this could indicate that Hamas is concerned about Sinwar and other leaders being targeted.
Egypt and the United Nations have been mediating discussions about a long-term "calm agreement" between Israel and Gaza terrorist groups in recent months. In February, over 60 rockets were fired in a round of fighting between Israel and the Gaza Strip, after the Jewish state killed a Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist who was placing an explosive along the border.