From Daily Alert, May 6, 2016
Hamas leaders have begun to understand that the IDF has finally developed a way to locate the attack tunnels that they dug underneath the border from Gaza into Israel. The IDF is undertaking intensive and accelerated operations and has already discovered at least two tunnels. Hamas leaders found themselves with a severe dilemma: Do they act immediately via their tunnels before they lose their main strategic asset? Or do they refrain from operations for now and search for other methods to surprise Israel in the next round?
The military wing of Hamas still isn’t ready for another round of fighting with Israel on the scale of the summer 2014 war. Moreover, with the damage of that war not yet repaired, Hamas fears a major confrontation with Israel at the present time might trigger a popular uprising against it.
The continued mortar fire is Hamas’ way of sending a message to Israel: If you keep looking for our tunnels, a war will break out. Yet the IDF hasn’t slowed down its tunnel detection efforts for a moment. With the permission of the prime minister, the defense minister and the cabinet, the operations have been increased, the forces strengthened, and detection efforts heightened. (Ynet News)
The Israeli Air Force struck targets in Gaza in response to a continued mortar assault on IDF forces on Friday. Mortar shelling of IDF forces began on Wednesday as the IDF discovered an additional Hamas tunnel from Gaza into Israel. (Maariv Hashavua-Jerusalem Post)
See also Report: IDF Responds to Gaza Mortar Attacks with Artillery Fire
Palestinian media reported Friday that IDF artillery had begun shelling Hamas installations following some 20 mortar attacks from Gaza that began Tuesday and targeted IDF troops at the border fence between Gaza and Israel. (Times of Israel)
Mahmoud Atawnah, 29, from Jabalia in Gaza, was arrested in April after crossing the border fence into Israel armed with two knives, the Israel Security Agency revealed on Thursday. He disclosed during interrogation that he intended to kill the first Israeli he encountered.
A member of Hamas’ Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Atawnah provided the ISA with information on tunnel routes and the use of private homes and institutions to hide tunnel entrances. Atawneh described a sophisticated network of tunnels which includes rest areas, showers and dining areas. (Times of Israel)