Shin Bet Chief: Hamas will resume arms smuggling to Gaza within a few months
Yuval Diskin says Hamas will soon rebuild tunnels destroyed by Israel during its 22-day Gaza offensive.
Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin on Sunday told the cabinet that Hamas would resume smuggling arms into Gaza within a few months, despite Israel's recent destruction of many tunnels used for this purpose.
Diskin said that the Palestinian Islamist group would soon rebuild the tunnels, which were destroyed during Israel's 22-day offensive against Hamas in Gaza.
He said that despite heavy criticism of Israel, Gaza residents are "fiercely criticizing Hamas for the destruction it has brought to Gaza."
Diskin emphasized that there has been mass confusion among the Hamas leadership in both Gaza and Damascus since Israel's announcement of a unilateral cease-fire.
"The confusion stems from the fact that Hamas' stance, in the context of the UN resolution and in the context of the Egyptian initiative, placed the organization in a very problematic position in which it is likely to emerge exposed from all sides."
Diskin added that Hamas suffered a strategic surprise and that it "did not expect that Israel would begin an operation in the lead up to elections, not of such a scope and magnitude and not one in which Israel would send troops deep into Gaza."
He said the IDF's pressure on Gaza City put Hamas in a very difficult situation.
One of Israel's stated goals in the campaign was to halt the smuggling of weapons from Sinai to Gaza. A unilateral cease-fire in Gaza declared by Israel took effect early Sunday.