YNetNews By: Yoav Zitun
Hamas has upped the number of fighters in its elite and commando units and is testing short-range rockets with a heavy payload in an effort to restore its strength to what it was before summer 2014; the IDF, meanwhile, is planning to defeat Hamas’s military wing and set them back years; ‘We’ll defeat them by offense, not defense,’ says senior officer.
Hamas has quickly learned the lessons of the 2014 Operation Protective Edge and has been hard at work recovering its strength, a high-ranked IDF officer said Thursday. However, the Gaza terror organization has yet to restore its rockets arsenal to the same quantity and quality as before the war, it is hindered by a shortage in supply of arms and raw materials, and suffers from increasing tensions between its military and political branches.
During a briefing to the media, a the senior IDF officer revealed some of the military’s plans for a future conflict in Gaza. He also described a situation very similar to the period before the outbreak of Operation Protective Edge: Hamas in Gaza is pushing for an escalation of violence and trying to execute terror bombings in the West Bank – but is not interested in a confrontation with Israel in the Strip itself. At the same time, Hamas is dedicating most of its time and resources to restoring its military strength and further bolstering its forces.
“Hamas is suspicious of Israel, fearing that it will initiate a surprise attack on the Gaza Strip, which is why we’re concerned that Hamas will miscalculate the situation,” the officer said. “They’re highly-sensitive about any statements made on our side.”