Opinion

New Hamas force in Gaza to engage in night-duty terror

In the past two weeks, Hamas has created a new unit called “The Night-Time Deployment Unit.”

Palestinians burn tires as they protest by the fence on the border between Gaza and Israel, as seen from the Israeli side of the border, June 8, 2018. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.
Palestinians burn tires as they protest by the fence on the border between Gaza and Israel, as seen from the Israeli side of the border, June 8, 2018. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.
Yoni Ben Menachem
Yoni Ben Menachem, a veteran Arab affairs and diplomatic commentator for Israel Radio and Television, is a senior Middle East analyst for the Jerusalem Center. He served as director general and chief editor of the Israel Broadcasting Authority.

Hamas has created a new unit called “The Night-Time Deployment Unit” just in the past two weeks.

The purpose is to strike against the Israel Defense Forces’ troops deployed along the Gaza border during the night, and to break the routine of incidents at the border ending in the evening hours or on only one day of the week.

The unit has already started taking action by attempting to breach the security fences, launching incendiary devices towards Israeli communities close to Gaza—tossing explosives, placing IEDs, burning tires and activating sirens.

The establishment of the new unit is part of Hamas’s strategic decision to ramp up again the incidents on the border following the failure to secure a calm through the Egyptian-sponsored negotiations. The tactic is part of the strategy to pressure Israel to remove the blockade of the Gaza Strip.

As part of this operation, Hamas has also established a new “Return Camp” in northern Gaza adjacent to the Israeli border on the beach near the Israeli Kibbutz of Zikim, in addition to the five existing refugee camps. While demonstrations have taken place near the existing camps every Friday, Hamas seeks to create new points of friction with IDF forces, such as a weekly protest flotilla every Monday or demonstrations on Tuesday.

Senior Hamas political bureau official Fathi Hamad stated last weekend, “If the embargo is not removed this week, we will reveal new fighting methods and demonstrate new progress on land, sea, and, Allah willing, also in the air.”

Yoni Ben Menachem, a veteran Arab affairs and diplomatic commentator for Israel Radio and Television, is a senior Middle East analyst for the Jerusalem Center. He served as Director General and Chief Editor of the Israel Broadcasting Authority.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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