Recent reports by The Times of Israel
and Foreign Policy
remind us that Hamas is continually increasing efforts to establish an
infrastructure of terror in Palestine and Israel. In recent years, the
infrastructure of Hamas has become more sophisticated, taking place both above
ground, and is even able to be run from remote locations.
This is the certainly case of Hamas’s West Bank Bureau, which mostly operates
from Gaza, and yet directs the operations of a, recently thwarted, Hamas cell
Remotely located Hamas commanders are nothing new,
as is the case with Saleh al-Arouri, the senior Hamas officer known
for his ability to mastermind attacks from foreign locations like Qatar and Turkey (where al-Arouri currently resides with impunity). The lack of international
cooperation on countering the Hamas threat means that people like al-Arouri, who is alleged to have orchestrated the June 2014 abduction
and killing of three Israeli teenagers and starting the 50 days war between
Israel and Palestine, are able to continue to have a hand in strengthening the
Hamas organization and in orchestrating terror and suicide bombings against
Israel. Because of the lack of global assistance, over the past few years,
Hamas attacks have become almost unmanageable.
attacks are occurring at an increasingly alarming rate in Israel. In the first
seven months of 2015 alone, Israeli security forces foiled 17 suicide bombing attempts.
The rate of attacks is growing to such a degree that it is not always possible
for security forces to intercept them. While a terror attack might be foiled
one week another one will successfully deploy the next. In the first week of
March, Palestinian security services interrupted a Hamas cell
in Hebron, and arrested operatives as they planned to carry
out mass shootings and kidnappings. Then, on March
less than a week later, three simultaneous terrorist attacks occurred in Israel
in just one day. A dozen police and civilians were shot or stabbed, and an
American student from Vanderbilt died from knife wounds. Indeed, detecting and
foiling the terror plots of Hamas have become a full time around the clock job
for Palestinian and Israeli security forces.
In particular, it is underground where Hamas
appears to have the distinct advantage over Israeli and Palestinian security
forces. As the writers at Foreign Policy
it is difficult to gain traction when more effort goes into strengthening
underground tunnels than to rebuild homes and businesses demolished by the war
in 2014. While the U.S. has invested $40 million in a project called the
“Underground Iron Dome,” which could stake out and destroy cross border
underground tunnels, it is clear that more can be done to stop Hamas. Without
aid from the international community, without a global effort to disarm and
disband Hamas operatives both in and outside Palestine, terror will continue to
reign down upon Israeli and Palestinian civilians alike.