Senior IDF officer warns Hamas is ready for next war against Israel

Israel is closely monitoring Hamas’ efforts as it prepares for its next round of hostilities against Israel.

By: JNS.org and World Israel News Staff
IDF Gaza border

Israeli forces on the border with Gaza. (AP/Tsafrir Abayov)

A senior IDF Gaza Division official said that the Palestinian terror group Hamas has completely rearmed itself and has rebuilt its military infrastructure and is prepared for the next war with Israel.

The terror group “has rebuilt the tunnels, its rocket systems, intelligence collection, reconnaissance, and it is essentially prepared for war,” said the senior IDF official, Yedioth Ahronoth reported.

The source, however, conceded that Hamas currently does not yet desire a conflict with Israel and is instead focused on defeating rival Salafi Islamic State (ISIS)-affiliated terror groups in Gaza, who seek to overthrow Hamas’ rule there.

Hamas is also believed to have completely rebuilt its network of terror tunnels running underneath the border between southern Israel and Gaza.

There have been several cross-border incidents since Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014, and Palestinian terrorists have occasionally fired rockets at Israel’s civilian population in the south.

The IDF has responded in a limited fashion, seeking to prevent an escalation.

Likewise, Israel’s security forces successfully thwarted numerous attempts to smuggle weapons-production materials into Gaza.  Israel’s combined security agencies have been successful in thwarting more than 500 attempts to smuggle illicit materials from Israel into the Gaza Strip since the beginning of 2015.

In April of last year, The Telegraph reported that “Iran has sent Hamas’ military wing tens of millions of dollars to help it rebuild the network of tunnels in Gaza” destroyed by Israel during the summer campaign. “It [Iran] is also funding new missile supplies to replenish stocks used to bombard residential neighborhoods in Israel.”

Iran could be a decisive factor in determining when Hamas attacks Israel next.