A Hamas member and former minister has acknowledged a dirt road is being paved near the Gaza-Israel border in preparation for a future “window of opportunity to attack,” reported Ynet.
Former Hamas interior minister Fathi Hamad spoke Friday at an event in memory of one of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades commanders in Khan Younis, Ahmad Sahmoud, who was killed during Operation Protective Edge. He called on Muslim countries to work together to “remove the siege” on the Gaza Strip.
Speaking about the road, Hamas said it would be paved adjacent to the border, some 250-300 meters from the fence.
Defense sources are aware of the heavily-guarded work going on across the border, and are monitoring the construction near Nahal Oz, just outside the buffer zone which Palestinians are forbidden to enter. The paper reported that the sources were not concerned the construction posed a security threat to Israel. Widespread infrastructure repair is also underway in the area, on the outskirts of the Gaza City neighborhood of Saja’iyya, where Israel destroyed military posts during last summer’s Operation Protective Edge.
Meanwhile, Yisrael Beitenu MK Avigdor Lieberman accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon of ignoring the warning signs out of Gaza. He noted Hamad’s comments were the equivalent of “blaring a bullhorn at a prime minister who insists on remaining deaf.”
The former foreign minister said Netanyahu and Ya’alon were burying their heads in the sand, “and if the catastrophe that is written on the wall occurs – the prime minister and defense minister will be unable to deny responsibility.”
Lieberman added, “the prime minister should come to his senses now and do what is required to overthrow the Hamas regime in Gaza. Real leadership should know how to deal with threats before disaster strikes and not when it’s already too late.”