It was announced yesterday that a Hamas operative was arrested last month in a joint operation conducted by the Shin Bet internal security service and Israeli police. Under interrogation, Ibrahim A’adel Shahada Shaer revealed details of Hamas’s operations and plans to attack Israel.
Shaer, a resident of Rafah, was part of the Hamas logistics department during Operation Protective Edge last summer and has been fully involved in planning Hamas’s tunnel network and training fighters in advanced weaponry and improvised explosives.
Although a tense calm has largely prevailed in Gaza and the surrounding Israeli communities since last summer, Shaer disclosed that Hamas is busy rebuilding its complex network of terror tunnels, which were a major feature of Operation Protective Edge. In particular, he gave details of various tunnel and shaft sites in the Rafah area, including construction of a terror tunnel leading to Israel’s Kerem Shalom border crossing, which is the entry point for many supplies and materials into Gaza.
Shaer said that Hamas is routinely using materials entering Gaza which are intended for the area’s reconstruction, in order to replenish its infrastructure and carry out fresh terror attacks. In this effort, Shaer revealed that Iran provides substantial material and financial support. He said that Tehran is responsible for supplying money, advanced weaponry and has been training Hamas operatives how to infiltrate Israel. Earlier this year, the Telegraph reported that Iran was financing much of Hamas’s rearmament effort.
Shaer also revealed that Hamas leaders ordered operatives to store weapons in their own homes, to reduce the chances of detection. Shaer himself admitted to storing 50kg improvised storage devices in his own home. Israel has long attempted to focus attention on Hamas’s extensive use of human shields, including firing rockets from civilian facilities and using homes as weapons depots.
On 31 July, a Beer Sheva court charged Shaer with membership and association with illegal organisations, attempted murder, interaction with foreign spies, illegal military trainings and several weapon related offences.