BBC: Hamas Practiced For Three Years, 1 Km From Israel

By Arutz-7
Posted on 11/27/23 | News Source: Arutz-7

BBC ​​​​report presents a worrying picture of how Hamas prepared for the October 7th massacre and hid their activities from Israeli intelligence services.

According to the report, compiled by the channel's specialized crew for verifying information, the first of four training sessions had been announced by Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh as early as December 29th 2020. The exercises were codenamed "Strong Pillar".

The training included 10 separate armed Palestinian factions, among them Hamas, who practiced invading Israeli territory and carried out war games that included creating a joint command center between all the factions. Haniyeh noted at the time that it was a powerful message and symbol of solidarity between the various factions in Gaza.

In the following years, Hamas held three additional military drills, from which videos were uploaded to social media. The videos showed terrorists from Hamas, along with other organizations in the Gaza Strip, practicing the invasion into Israel, seizing hostages, and more.

According to the report, some of the exercises were held in training facilities similar to IDF bases and kibbutzim, which were built at a distance of just 1 km from the Israeli border. In 2022, Hamas terrorists practiced storming a simulated Israeli army base that was built 2.6 km from the Erez border crossing, and 16 km from an IDF surveillance tower.

Using satellite imagery, the reporters were able to locate 14 separate training facilities in nine places throughout Gaza. A particularly worrying point that appears to have escaped Israeli notice, or else was not considered important, took place on September 10th this year, just one month before the invasion.

In a picture published on Telegram by the joint command center between the various factions, uniformed Hamas operatives can be seen tracking military installations along the entire border fence. Just two days afterward, pictures were published of Hamas operatives riding pickup trucks along the fence - the same pickups that were later driven into Israel during the invasion.

Additional videos showed armed raids of simulated buildings and firing at targets inside, and invasion from the sea using boats and divers.

On the day of the invasion, Hamas published a video of terrorists practicing to invade Israel with powered paragliders, landing in a simulated target area they built in the southern Gaza Strip.

The BBC investigation claims that the film was originally taken in 2022, indicating that the paragliding practice lasted more than a year. Andreas Krieg, a senior lecturer in security studies at King's College in London, claims to have spoken to Hamas operatives who professed themselves surprised by the weakness of the initial Israeli response.