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shifa hospital gaza hamas 248.(Photo by: AP [file])
Diskin: Hamas dealt a 'serious blow'
Herb Keinon
Shin Bet chief: Operatives posing as doctors hiding out in hospitals; mosques used as command HQs.
Hamas has been attacked in a manner in which it has never been attacked before, Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) head Yuval Diskin told the security cabinet Wednesday, a week after the same forum approved Operation Cast Lead. According to Diskin, Hamas's ability to govern has been seriously harmed, and the organization's leaders are in hiding. He said that some are hiding in hospitals, disguised as doctors or nurses, while others are hiding in mosques. Diskin said that Hamas has turned some of Gaza's mosques into command and control centers, assuming that Israel would not bomb them. He also said Hamas has stockpiled weapons in mosques. According to Diskin, the IAF has destroyed Hamas's weapons-manufacturing capabilities, as well as numerous arms-smuggling tunnels. He said Hamas was trying to rebuild the tunnels to smuggle its leadership to Egypt. The security cabinet was also told that of the 390 Palestinians killed since the start of the operation, 40 have been identified as civilians. Two hundred and twenty others have been clearly identified as Hamas activists, and the identity of the other 130 still needed to be clarified. The cabinet was also told that the IDF has made some 100,000 phone calls to Gaza residents since the beginning of the operation, warning them to leave their apartments or homes before an impending attack.
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