Monday, December 17, 2007

Hamas: Advanced defense plan ready for when IDF enters Gaza

"Hamas' armed wing said Monday that the Islamist organization has completed preparation of its new defense program and is ready to face the Israel Defense Forces when it invades the Gaza Strip.

The remarks were made by Iz a-Din al-Qassam's spokesman, Abu Obeida, in an interview with the London-based Arabic-language newspaper Al-Hayat.

Abu Obeida said that the IDF has not yet encountered such a high level of resistance in its previous incursions into the Gaza Strip.

"The Israeli army won't know where the blows are coming from, and how its tanks will be hit by missiles in our possession," Abu Obeida said, adding that IDF troops would encounter militants trained in new combat methods acting upon instruction from an operational command center shared by all of the Palestinian organizations.

The spokesman also said that the new combat efforts would focus on the element of surprising the enemy, adding that the open fields in the Gaza Strip - which he coined "one big ball of fire" - would be filled with "surprises" for IDF soldiers.

He said that the organizations would rely mainly on so far unused missiles, adding that the group would also make use of a network of tunnels and trenches in its tactics.

"The Israeli army will be surprised by the Palestinian militants that will come out of the ground," said Abu Obeida.

He confirmed ties between Hamas and Iran and Hezbollah, but denied that Hamas militants have received training outside of the Palestinian territories, or arms and missiles from foreign sources.

Abu Obeida maintained that less than 1 percent of Qassam rocket launchers were hit by the Israeli Air Force, despite the fact that the IAF has been "hunting them" for many months. He explained this by saying that the missiles have become more advanced, reaching longer ranges......"

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