Hamas does not import telecommunications to avoid alerting Israel to its plans, preferring to steal from a local media company, which can’t report such incidents because Hamas rules the Strip.
By Baruch Yedid, TPS
Hamas members are responsible for breaking into the warehouse of the Pal Tel phone company in the Zweida neighborhood in the Gaza Strip and the equipment it stole is intended to rebuild and develop Hamas’ communications system after it was hit by an Israeli bombing, TPS has learned.
Sources told TPS that Izz al-Din al-Qassam personnel broke into warehouses five days ago, stealing communications equipment worth NIS 15 million, under the noses of Hamas personnel in a nearby post.
The equipment, including copper cables, routers and hubs, was loaded onto trucks and according to one source, was transferred to Hamas’ facility on Saladin Street.
A Hamas switchboard operated near the warehouses, and a year and a half ago there was an explosion that resulted in the deaths of six activists.
Another source in the Gaza Strip adds that this is the second incident of a break-in into the Pal Tel warehouses by Hamas activists, who are working to improve an elaborate communications system in the organization’s tunnels and repair damaged infrastructure.
The source said that since Israel bombed Hamas tunnels, and especially during its counterterrorism operation of Khan Yunis in November, Hamas has been working to restore its communications system and in the absence of infrastructure equipment, its activities have broken into the warehouses.
Hamas does not import telecommunications equipment by private suppliers so as not to attract attention to its development work in Israel, preferring to steal from the media company, which is also unable to report the incident because Hamas rules the Strip.
Hamas cannot import the equipment itself because it is not used by the private sector and its import into the Gaza Strip could expose to Israel Hamas’ attempts at the system’s rehabilitation and its development activities.
It has also become apparent that Hamas’ police launched a fictitious investigation into the incident while concealing the break-in for several days.
The communications company now fears that Israel will ban it from importing additional equipment into the Gaza Strip.
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