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Sunday, January 18, 2009
[Oops!] Shin Bet Chief: Hamas will resume arms smuggling to Gaza within a few months

[Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA:

The good news for the Olmert-Livni-Barak team: Diskin thinks the smuggling
will only resume full force after the Knesset elections.

The bad news for Israel: press releases, photo ops and all the wishful
thinking in the world isn't going to stop the flow of weapons from Egypt to
Gaza.

And the question: Will Israeli voters buy into wishful thinking?]

Shin Bet Chief: Hamas will resume arms smuggling to Gaza within a few months
By Barak Ravid, Haaretz Correspondent Last update - 15:21 18/01/2009
www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1056489.html

Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin on Sunday told the cabinet that Hamas would
resume smuggling arms into Gaza within a few months, despite Israel's recent
destruction of many tunnels used for this purpose.

Diskin said that the Palestinian Islamist group would soon rebuild the
tunnels, which were destroyed during Israel's 22-day offensive against Hamas
in Gaza.

He said that despite heavy criticism of Israel, Gaza residents are "fiercely
criticizing Hamas for the destruction it has brought to Gaza."

Diskin emphasized that there has been mass confusion among the Hamas
leadership in both Gaza and Damascus since Israel's announcement of a
unilateral cease-fire.

"The confusion stems from the fact that Hamas' stance, in the context of the
UN resolution and in the context of the Egyptian initiative, placed the
organization in a very problematic position in which it is likely to emerge
exposed from all sides."

Diskin added that Hamas suffered a strategic surprise and that it "did not
expect that Israel would begin an operation in the lead up to elections, not
of such a scope and magnitude and not one in which Israel would send troops
deep into Gaza."

He said the IDF's pressure on Gaza City put Hamas in a very difficult
situation.

One of Israel's stated goals in the campaign was to halt the smuggling of
weapons from Sinai to Gaza. A unilateral cease-fire in Gaza declared by
Israel took effect early Sunday.

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