Shin Bet chief: Hamas preparing for war but has lost Gaza support

PNN/Gaza/

The chief of Israeli Security Agency (ISA/ Shin Bet) said today that Hamas and its military factions such as the al-Qassam Brigades are restoring their military capabilities in preparation for the next confrontation with Israel.

Shin Bet’s General Security Chief, Yoram Cohen, said today that Hamas expects the next confrontation will come soon and is therefore making an enourmous effort to prepare itself and renovate the tunnels which were destroyed in the last Israeli attack on Gaza.

Cohen added in front of the Committee of Foreign Affairs and Security that Hamas and its military factions were ready to wage a war like that of last year. He said that Hamas was now able to deal heavy blows out to Israel as it had rockets capable of reaching deep into Israeli territory.

Cohen stressed that Hamas was currently building its military capability, although it did not want to begin a war with Israel until it had maximized its military force. A new war with Israel at this point would not be possible as Hamas has lost a lot of support from the population of Gaza in the aftermath of the last war, reported Cohen. This is due in part to the delayed restoration of Gaza homes and in part to the lack of any positive results from the war such as the release of political prisoners from Israel and the building of an air or seaport.

Isma’il Haniya, representative of the Head of the Political Office of Hamas, said during a meeting last night in Rafah that Hamas had come through the Israeli aggression last year stronger than ever, pointing to the openness in the relations with Egypt and with other Arab countries.