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Israel to Build Wall with Gaza, Expects Hamas to Wage War | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Israel’s controversial barrier runs along the Shuafat refugee camp in the West Bank near Jerusalem November 23, 2013. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

Tel Aviv – Israeli military sources revealed that the army is preparing “calmly, but firmly” for a new major offensive with the Hamas group in the Gaza Strip.

The sources stressed that the reason behind the military confrontation will not be the assassination of senior Hamas commander Mazen al-Faqha at the end of last week, but the huge wall that will be built soon around the Strip.

A senior officer specialized in Gaza affairs stated that “despite the uproar that followed the assassination of al-Faqha, who was planning to carry out operations in the West Bank, the strategic tangible incident that should be recognized is what is yet to happen.”

A next war in the Gaza Strip is unlikely to be spurred by the assassination that the group holds Israel responsible for, but will most probably be waged by Hamas because of the wall that seeks to eliminate its tunnels system. The elimination of the system will be a major blow to its strategic arm.

The Israeli intelligence and army commands estimated two years for the completion of the wall. When completed, it would guarantee that no tunnels will be extended to Israel, putting Hamas in an unprecedented predicament.

How would Hamas act when deprived of its strategic tunnels that were constructed with great sacrifices and that are aimed at shrinking the attacking capabilities of the Israeli army?

“Hamas is fully aware that the wall would change the rules of the game. For this reason, Israel sees that Hamas will not submit to these facts and will try to obstruct the construction of this wall even if the price was waging another round of war against Israel,” added the senior officer.

Yet, the purpose of the wall is causing intense discussion in the Israeli army, disclosed media sources specialized in military affairs. Opposing parties question if it is really imperative for Israel to invest 4.2 billion shekel to confront the threat of tunnels.