Hamas: Army to receive surprises in Gaza

Spokesman says group "eagerly awaiting incursion;" says Schalit won't be harmed, even if Israel attacks.

idf gaza tank 224 88ap (photo credit: AP [file])
idf gaza tank 224 88ap
(photo credit: AP [file])
Many terrible surprises await the IDF should Israel launch a wide-scale operation in the Gaza Strip, a spokesperson for Hamas's military wing warned on Saturday. In an interview with an Israeli-Arab weekly which was quoted on Army Radio, the spokesperson said that Hamas was eagerly awaiting the incursion, and that the group had yet to take advantage of the full array of their arsenal. Speaking about the fate of kidnapped IDF soldier Cpl. Gilad Schalit, the spokesperson assured that Hamas has no intention of harming the captive, even if Israel invades the Strip. He added that the group would not offer any more information about the condition of Schalit until Israel answers their demands for a prisoner release. Meanwhile, the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported on Friday that Israel had informed PA authorities in Ramallah of its intention to send the IDF into the Gaza Strip in order to regain control of the Philadelphi Corridor and put an end to Hamas smuggling of weapons and cash through tunnels from the Egyptian side of the border. According to the report, Israel told a number of Arab states that after the November 26 Annapolis peace parley it intends to embark on an extensive operation in the Strip. Palestinian sources received explicit information stating that during the projected first stage of the operation, Israel is determined to gain control of Rafah and areas along the Egyptian border ranging as far as Khan Yunis, the paper said. The second stage will reportedly include an incursion into the central and northern Gaza Strip. According to Al-Quds Al-Arabi's sources, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who rejected out of hand Israel's plan to recapture the Philadelphi Corridor, intends to send emissaries to regional countries in an effort to convey the sense of urgency regarding the danger of an Israeli incursion. Abbas, the paper said, will state that an Israeli incursion would destroy the Gaza Strip and its infrastructure.