'Hamas digging more tunnels, wants next round of fighting in Israeli territory'

Shin Bet says teen suspect involved in tunnel-digging arrested, divulges information on the group's efforts.

May 10, 2016 13:37
1 minute read.

A gunman from the Izz ad-Din al- Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, photographed inside an underground tunnel in Gaza, in 2014.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Hamas is continuing to dig attack tunnels and is closely following Israel's efforts to uncover such tunnels, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) has gleaned from the interrogation of an operative from the group's military branch.

The Shin Bet announced on Tuesday that it has arrested a minor who was enlisted into the ranks of Hamas prior to summer 2014's Operation Protective Edge and was active in the organization's efforts to dig tunnels that would infiltrate into Israeli territory.

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News of the arrest comes after the IDF uncovered two Hamas attack tunnels entering into Israeli territory in the past month. Another Hamas operative involved in the organization's tunnel enterprise was also recently arrested and shed light on the group's efforts to dig into Israel.

The teen whose arrest was announced on Tuesday hails from the Jabalia refugee camp in Gaza and was arrested last month attempting to cross the border fence into Israel.

He belonged to the northern division of the Kassam Brigades, Hamas's military wing. According to the Shin Bet, the suspect said during his interrogation that he was trained to infiltrate, enter structures and place explosive devices in keeping with Hamas's strategy of ensuring that the next round of fighting will take place in Israeli territory.

The suspect divulged information on the structure of Hamas tunnels intended to be used by the group's elite tunnel unit in times of emergency and the location of tunnels in Gaza, the Shin Bet stated.

He also allegedly told his interrogators about Hamas's efforts to keep their tunnel-digging activities secret, such as  avoiding leaving the tunnels in their dirt-covered "work clothes," and covering up any signs that they had been in a tunnel.

The suspect took part in placing explosive devices in tunnels to prevent IDF soldiers from entering them and even stored explosives at his home, the Shin Bet said.

The Israeli security agency said that the suspect is one of many being interrogated who is providing intel on Hamas's tunneling efforts.

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