Indirect Security Coordination between Israel and Hamas

(Al-Monitor) Shlomi Eldar - The Hamas unit dubbed the Restraining Force numbers several hundred armed men who serve as a type of border patrol. The unit is tasked with thwarting rocket attacks or terror attacks against Israeli targets by rogue organizations in Gaza that could embroil Hamas in a war it does not want. On Aug. 1, a Restraining Force member, Hani Abu-Salah, attacked IDF troops after infiltrating the border fence near the Kissufim crossing armed with a Kalashnikov and hand grenades. He wounded three Israeli soldiers before the troops shot him dead. The IDF issued a statement saying, "This was an independent action by a terrorist acting on his own" and it did not involve Hamas. An Israeli security source said Hamas told the Egyptians it would carry out an internal inspection of the Restraining Force to root out members with hidden agendas against Israel. Hamas has also conducted lectures for members of the Restraining Force to hone their instructions so that IDF snipers could not misidentify them as armed terrorists. Hamas also promised Egypt it would expand the unit to strengthen its capacity to ensure that the Gaza border protests do not veer out of control.

2019-08-09 00:00:00

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