Hamas deploys security forces to stop terrorists reaching Israel – report

Hamas did not comment on the report, which came after the IDF thwarted three attempts by terrorists to infiltrate the border into Israel.

PALESTINIANS TAKE PART in a protest last week marking Nakba Day, east of Gaza City.  (photo credit: MOHAMMED SALEM/ REUTERS)
PALESTINIANS TAKE PART in a protest last week marking Nakba Day, east of Gaza City.
Hamas security forces are preventing Palestinians from approaching the security fence along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, a source close to Hamas said on Tuesday.
The source told the Palestinian news agency Amad that Hamas has beefed up its security forces near the border with Israel after three recent thwarted terrorist attacks during which Gazans tried to infiltrate into Israel.
Other sources said that Hamas security forces arrested an armed Palestinian who tried to approach the security fence east of El-Bureij refugee camp in the center of the Gaza Strip. Hamas did not comment on the report.
IDF soldiers on Monday arrested an armed Palestinian man attempting to infiltrate into Israel from the Gaza Strip. The suspect was captured and found carrying a knife along with two bullets, the IDF said.
On Saturday, four heavily armed terrorists were killed while attempting to infiltrate into Israel from the Gaza Strip. A few hours later, the IDF shot and killed a terrorist who opened fire on troops near the security fence.
Hamas has sought to distance itself from the terrorists by describing them as “angry” Palestinian individuals seeking to end the siege on the Gaza Strip. Unconfirmed reports in the Gaza Strip said that the four terrorists killed on Saturday were former members of Hamas’s military wing, Izaddin al-Qassam. The terrorists had joined a Salafi jihadi group, the reports claimed.
Palestinian political analysts pointed out that Hamas did not endorse any of the terrorists, thus signaling its interest in preserving the ceasefire understandings reached with Israel earlier this year under the auspices of Egypt and the United Nations.
Meanwhile, Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar said on Tuesday that his group will pursue the armed struggle against Israel.
Sinwar said during a visit to Palestinian families in the Gaza Strip on the occasion of the Eid al-Adha feast that Hamas “will continue to fight against the occupation and will pursue the path of resistance until the liberation of the land and the achievement of the right of return” for Palestinian refugees and their descendants to their former homes in Israel.
The Hamas leader also pledged to work toward ending the dispute with the ruling Fatah faction in Ramallah, and said his group was seeking to “fold the page of black division” – reference to the split between the Palestinian Authority-controlled West Bank and the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave.
Another Hamas leader, Salah Bardaweel, said on Tuesday that his group was not afraid of Israeli threats to assassinate Hamas figures and launch a military operation in the Gaza Strip.
Bardaweel was responding to statements by Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz, who told Army Radio on Monday that Israel was ready for an extensive action in the Gaza Strip if necessary. “We cannot rely on Hamas. It is a murderous group that is responsible for many terrorist attacks,” the minister said.
“We are working constantly to reduce the threat of Hamas, such as by destroying their tunnels. We currently respond to every security incident, but there is the possibility that we could begin a campaign there.”