Hamas terrorists receive training in Gaza in 2012. (Photo: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90) Hamas terrorists receive training in Gaza in 2012. (Photo: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

Despite its initial denial that a mortar bomb had been fired into Israel on Tuesday, the terrorist group Hamas moved quickly to arrest those it says are responsible.

In an apparent effort to continue its indirect negotiations with Israel, Hamas has arrested the individuals it says are responsible for the rocket that was launched on Tuesday from Gaza into Israel.

It was the first time since the ceasefire agreement took effect on August 26 that a rocket fired from Gaza had landed in Israel. A Hamas official initially denied that the incident had occurred but the arrests were made later the same night, according to reports.

An Israeli security official said, “Israel has made it clear to Hamas that it will be judged by its actions, not just its words,” Israel Hayom reported. “If Hamas does not use a tough hand against ceasefire violators, then we will be forced to act.”

Hamas Committed to Ceasefire

The terrorist group also appeared eager to inform Israeli officials of the arrests, which is an indication that Operation Protective Edge has had a deterrent effect, according to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

PM Netanyahu meets with IDF Intelligence Corps. (Photo: Kobi Gideon/GPO)

Prime Minister Netanyahu meets with IDF Intelligence Corps. (Photo: Kobi Gideon/GPO)

Netanyahu met with Maj.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi and soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Intelligence Corps on Wednesday to thank them for their contributions during this summer’s war against Hamas in Gaza.

“The information provided by the Intelligence Corps, under your leadership, was an asset and constituted a significant part of the military blow to Hamas,” said Netanyahu. “It is clear to Hamas that we will not accept sporadic firing; therefore, it took care to make it clear that those who carried out the firing have been arrested and that it is committed to the ceasefire.”

The Egyptian-brokered ceasefire agreement, which dealt only with the cessation of fighting, stipulated that negotiations over other issues, including reconstruction in Gaza, must begin in a month’s time. These negotiations appear to have already begun because an agreement was announced at the UN on Tuesday that will make it possible for Gazans to begin to rebuild.

UN Brokers Reconstruction Deal

“UNSCO (the Office of the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process) has brokered a trilateral agreement between Israel, the Palestinian Authority and the UN to enable work at the scale required in the [Gaza] Strip, involving the private sector in Gaza and giving a lead role to the Palestinian Authority in the reconstruction effort, while providing security assurances through UN monitoring that these materials will not be diverted from their entirely civilian purpose,” said Robert Serry, UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process.

One of the concrete terror tunnels uncovered during Operation Protective Edge. (Photo: IDFblog.com)

Hamas terror tunnel (Photo: IDFblog.com)

Construction materials, including concrete, which were provided to Gaza in the past for civilian purposes were used instead to build tunnels for the express purpose of committing terrorist attacks against Israelis. The IDF discovered at least 30 such tunnels during Operation Protective Edge, according to the official IDF blog. Each tunnel required 350 truckloads of building supplies at a cost of $3 million.

“With those materials, Hamas could have built 86 homes, 7 mosques, 6 schools, 19 medical clinics,” according to the IDF website. “That’s $90 million that Hamas could have invested in the welfare of its people.”

Reconstruction of the terror tunnels has already begun, according to some reports.

Author: Joanne Hill
Staff Writer, United with Israel

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