Channel 12 News reported that the loss of tunnels has led Hamas to train dozens of terrorists as naval commandos.
By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News
Terrorist group Hamas is currently exploring maritime options to infiltrate Israel as underground tunnels have become less viable, reported Israel’s Channel 12 News on Monday.
Hamas has traditionally utilized extensive networks of underground tunnels to smuggle weapons, supplies, narcotics and even terrorists from Gaza into Israel.
But since the IDF began constructing an underground barrier that prevents tunneling, along with systematically destroying the tunnels, Hamas has had to explore alternative options to attack the Jewish state, including by air and sea.
Channel 12 News reported that the loss of tunnels has led Hamas to train dozens of terrorists as naval commandos, to be used for a maritime invasion of Israel via the Mediterranean Sea. Hamas has obtained advanced equipment that enables training for underwater warfare and invasion scenarios.
Much of the naval training is taking place at bases in the Nuseirat Refugee Camp area and near Gaza City. Some of these bases have previously been the site of airstrikes by the Israeli Air Force.
Hamas views its developing naval unit as a significant part of its military capability, as critical as its rockets launching and explosive kites, said Channel 12 News.
Israeli security forces are closely watching the maritime threat. Following the successful efforts to destroy terror tunnels, the IDF was aware Hamas would seek out other ways to invade Israel.
Recently, the IDF constructed an observation pier opposite Zikim Beach, near the Erez Border Crossing, to thwart swimmers and divers attempting to infiltrate Israel from the Gaza Strip.
The Israeli Navy has also deployed a series of underwater sensors that report real-time threats, and a dedicated fleet of Navy ships and observers regularly patrol and monitor the waters between Israel and the Gaza Strip.
Two weeks ago, the IDF released a video of an attempted weapons-smuggling attempt from Sinai, Egypt to Gaza via the sea. The Israeli Navy thwarted the attempt, capturing Mohammed Bakar, a senior smuggler who often works with Hamas.
Last Friday, the IAF struck sites in the Gaza Strip after several rockets were launched Thursday night from Gaza into Israel. The rockets exploded in open areas; no Israelis were hurt.