JERUSALEM – Hamas has been amassing large stockpiles of weapons so its members will be ready to launch attacks immediately should its leadership decide to end a long-term truce with Israel, according to Israeli security officials.
The report follows a WorldNetDaily exclusive interview in which Abu Abdullah, a leader of Hamas’ so-called military wing, stated his group is developing electronically guided missiles to target Jewish communities and is seeking the ability to fly explosive-laden airplanes 9/11-style into important targets, possibly Tel Aviv skyscrapers.
“In the last 15 months, even though the fighters of Hamas kept the cease-fire, we did not stop making important advancements and professional training on the military level. In the future, after Hamas is obliged to stop the cease-fire, the world shall see our new military capabilities,” said Abu Abdullah.
Abdullah is considered one of the most important operational members of Hamas’ Izzedine al-Qassam Martyrs Brigades, Hamas’ declared “resistance” department.
A senior Israeli security official said Hamas is preparing large-scale attacks.
“Thus far, members of Hamas’ military wing have not received any orders to commit attacks, since a return to terror at this time would not serve the Palestinian Authority’s Hamas government,” one official told reporters, adding Hamas operatives have been instructed to prepare attacks that can be launched as soon as an order is given.
“They have no intention of repeating what they’ve done in the past,” the official said. “The tendency is to prepare ‘mega-attacks’ that would create a new balance [of power with Israel].”
Officials said there is information Hamas has experimented with adding toxic chemicals to suicide bomb belts. The officials said the experiments have involved relatively simple chemicals and that the organization has not been able to successfully integrate the agents into its bombs.
The officials also warned Hamas is acquiring large stockpiles of explosives so operatives will be ready to launch attacks.
New missiles would threaten most Israelis
Last week, Abu Abdullah told WND his group is developing a new, electronically guided missile that will place most major Israeli population centers within firing range.
“In the last months we accelerated the improvement operations of our missile production,” Abdullah said. “Thanks to Allah we have already improved missiles and in the future we will have the fourth model of our Qassam missiles, which will be electronically guided missiles and very accurate. Our Mujahadeen fighters are receiving a high level of training on how to use the new Qassams and how to maximize their accuracy. With the help of Allah we will succeed.”
Abdullah claimed the new missiles will be able to reach “every target in 1948 occupied Palestine (Israel) and that from Gaza we will be able to hit the center of Israel even if the transfer of these missiles to the West Bank (which runs alongside major Israeli cities) is for some reason interrupted.”
Palestinian groups, until now, generally have fired three versions of Qassams, improvised steel rockets filled with explosives and fuel. They can travel between one and five miles. Qassam-3’s travel the farthest and are the largest, at about four feet in length. The rockets lack a guidance system and are launched from Gaza towns by terrorists who reportedly use the rocket’s trajectory and known travel distance to aim at Jewish neighborhoods near the Gaza border. About 20 percent of Qassams do not explode upon impact.
Israel has noted regular improvements in Qassams, although it has not released information about Palestinian groups developing missiles with guidance systems.
A senior Palestinian intelligence officer told WND there is evidence groups in Gaza are developing guided missiles.
Israeli defense officials have warned some advanced rockets, including antiaircraft missiles, have been smuggled into the Gaza Strip.
Abdullah claimed Israel has been deliberately minimizing his group’s rocket capabilities and stated Hamas eventually would break the cease-fire to which it agreed last February.
“It is normal that the Israelis will underestimate the capabilities of Palestinian resistance such as not admitting we are working on these new missiles,” he said. “The people who made the (Gaza) withdrawal don’t want to talk now about the so-called risks.”
Hamas looking to fly planes into buildings
Abu Abdullah also said Hamas is acquiring small aircraft for attacks against Jewish targets, possibly Tel Aviv skyscrapers.
“The goal is to have these planes carry maximum quantities of explosives and that they will be able to hit the targets that are fixed for its operation at a high level of accuracy. All the Zionist goals in our dear Palestine are legitimate. I estimate that this tool will not be used against regular targets. We will choose precious targets and I do not want to speak about strategic or any other targets. … We know that the enemy is building new and high buildings in Tel Aviv.”
The terror leader listed possible military targets, as well.
“[Our target] could be important military and civil buildings and compounds and it could also be settlements in 1948 occupied Palestine (Israel). We know that many of the decisions to kill our brothers are taken in the army headquarters in occupied Beer Sheva (considered the capital of the Israeli Negev desert). All these targets are legitimate ones,” Abdullah said.
Abdullah’s statements come after Palestinian security officials told WND they believe Hamas recently smuggled into the Gaza Strip three small airplanes that can carry explosives and be used to attack Israel. They said information indicates the aircraft were purchased from eastern European dealers and that Hamas members received flight training from professionals in the Sudan, Iran and Syria.
Abdullah refused to confirm the reports but said his group has the right to acquire aircraft.
“I cannot confirm whether this information is right or not but for sure it is one of our goals to have these airplanes,” Abdullah said. “It is part of our legitimate arming in case the enemy (Israel) thinks to launch a big attack against our people.”
Hamas the past few months has claimed many times its “military wing” functions separately from the group’s political leadership.
Since Hamas was elected to Palestinian parliament in January, the terror group has refused to recognize Israel’s right to exist. Some Hamas leaders have hinted at the possibility of negotiations. In a widely circulated report, Hamas Foreign Minister Mahmoud al-Zahar previously told WND his group would consider talking with the Jewish state through a third party. But Hamas leaders, including al-Zahar and the group’s overall leader Khaled Meshaal, regularly declare they will not give up the right to “resistance.”
Asked if the Hamas’ political leadership sanctions the acquiring of aircraft for attacks, Abdullah replied, “The acquiring of any weapon is a decision of the military wing and it depends on a number of conditions related to financial facilities and to the situation on the ground. The Hamas political leadership starts to play a role only when it comes to the question of time – when to come back to the military operations because as you know we are respecting the cease-fire.”
Israel says Hamas continues to direct attacks using other terror groups, particularly the Gaza-based Popular Resistance Committees. The Shin Bet Security Services recently announced Hamas senior member Ahmed Randor was responsible for a thwarted major bombing by the Committees at the Karni crossing, the main checkpoint between Israel and Gaza.