Hamas operatives in the West Bank have experimented with adding toxic chemicals to their bombs, security sources told Haaretz yesterday.
The organization also is amassing large stocks of explosives so operatives will be ready to launch attacks immediately should its leadership decide to end the security “lull,” the sources added.
“Thus far, members of its 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 said. However, he added, they have been instructed to prepare attacks that can be launched the instant the order is given.
The preceding paragraph accurately summarizes the nature of “truce” between the Palestinian Authority and Israel: The Hamas government is currently under intense scrutiny, and weakened by conflict with Fatah and economic difficulties. Following the precedent established by Muhammad and the Treaty of al-Hudaybiya, they’ll stick to the truce only to deceive and buy time, while plotting and amassing weaponry.
“They have no intention of repeating what they’ve done in the past,” he continued. “The tendency is to prepare ‘mega-attacks’ that would create a new balance” of power with Israel.
Currently, Hamas’ West Bank cells are focusing mainly on buying arms, training operatives, setting up explosives factories and conducting experiments. However, a few cells – mainly in the southern West Bank, around Hebron and Bethlehem – are continuing to carry out small-scale attacks. These cells are only loosely connected to the organization’s leadership in Damascus and Gaza, and as long as they keep a relatively low profile and do not claim responsibility for their attacks in Hamas’ name, the leadership does not interfere. One such cell was arrested early this year after murdering six Israeli civilians near Gush Etzion and Hebron.
The Shin Bet and police arrested a senior Hamas operative in Ramallah two weeks ago who was responsible for planning several “mega-attacks.” The arrest was made public yesterday.
Ibrahim Hamed heads Hamas’ military wing in the West Bank. His planned attacks included attempts to blow up railway tracks and an attempted bombing of the Pi Glilot gas storage facility.