Hamas readies anti-Israel suicide terror to follow prisoner swap

Information reached debkafile‘s counter-terror sources Wednesday, Dec. 2, of the discovery by Egyptian intelligence and security units of a large cache of bomb vests and 15-kilo explosive devices – some with built-in detonators, others attached to timers – in the Gaza-Egyptian border town of Rafah. They were smuggled out of the Gaza Strip and stored in Rafah for Hamas operatives and their confederates to carry through Sinai and across the Egyptian border into Israel, to be picked up by suicide bombers belonging to Hamas, the Popular Resistance Committees or the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Senior IDF sources suggested Wednesday night that Egypt was tipped off about the cache and Hamas’ plans as a result of an incident last Wednesday, Nov. 25, when a Hamas terrorist bound for a suicide attack in Eilat or a military base in the Negev, failed to make it. A routine Israel military patrol on the Negev-Egyptian border spotted him heading for the Israeli border lugging a heavy rucksack.
They fired in the air and the man dropped his load and took off. It was found the next day to contain a 15-kilo explosive device packed with steel chippings. When defused in a controlled explosion, the device was found armed with a complex detonator capable of almost doubling the force of the blast. In Eilat, it would have wrought widespread death and destruction.
Egyptian security may have laid hands on the the absconding Hamas terrorist who led them to the Rafah cache, or else their agents in Sinai and the Gaza Strip found out about it through the scouts who escorted the would-be through Sinai to the Israeli border.
debkafile‘s counter-terror sources disclose Hamas planned a wave of large-scale suicide attacks in southern Israel and its central heartland, for which five to eight operatives based in the West Bank were instructed to infiltrate Israel.
Hamas prepared a set of identical rucksacks for the bombers to carry their explosives and weapons, following the model of the Mumbai massacre perpetrators. See picture)
Hamas had hopes that this deadly terror offensive would dissipate the widespread Palestinian criticism of its consent to major concessions in the deal for trading the Israeli soldier Sgt. Gilead Shalit for nearly 1,000 Palestinians in Israeli jails.
These attacks were meant prove that the extremist Islamist Hamas had not abandoned the way of resistance to Israel as its guiding principle. They were intended to distract attention from Hamas’ consent to have hard-core Palestinian terrorists banished from the country after their release from jail.
The group’s leaders have tried claiming that it is up to each released prisoner to decide between exile and staying behind bars. But this pretext might not work; if too many opt for jail, the entire transaction now in its final stages might collapse at the eleventh hour. On the other hand, Hamas would have a hard time explaining its acceptance of long stretches of exile in restricted conditions for leaders of “the resistance.”
To silence Palestinian protest against the prisoner swap transaction, three Hamas high-ups called on Hizballah chief Hassan Nasrallah at his hideout in Beirut Wednesday in search of a blessing for the prisoner swap from this high priest of the terrorist movement before it goes into its final stage.

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