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Palestinian Factions Performed ‘Precisely and Proficiently at All Levels’

Gaza movements, including Hamas, made remarkable strides during the latest escalation, on the military and information security levels, security expert says.
[additional-authors]
May 31, 2021
Islamic Jihad forces hold a military parade in central Gaza, May 29, 2021. (Hazem Albaz/The Media Line)

[Gaza City] The Media Line —The Palestinian movements in Gaza displayed significant capacity and improvement in their military coordination and information security efforts during the latest round of fighting with Israel, according to a security expert based in the coastal enclave.

Dr. Khader Abbas attributes the improved performance to the collective battle management carried out by all Palestinian parties.

“Not only Hamas, but all Palestinian resistance movements participated in the Joint Military Operations Room [the body that ran the operations of 12 military wings of the Palestinian factions] in opposing the latest Israeli aggression on Gaza,” he told The Media Line.

For the first time, Abbas said, “running the fight was done precisely and proficiently at all levels, especially at the operational one, including movement and communication of forces, despite the great disparity in force between Israeland the Palestinian resistance factions.

“Moreover,” he continued, “there was a very good level of technological development so that, sometimes, they were able to intercept some of the Israeli signals. Previously agreed-upon orders were circulated to all members of the Joint Operations Room and everyone stuck to the plans.”

According to Abbas, the judicious conduct of psychological warfare, effectively addressed toward the target audience, and the organized and well-timed distribution of tasks among the armed wings played an extremely important part in the battle, which featured a growing unity among all the Palestinian factions.

Hamas, as the ruler of the Gaza Strip, has certain privileges that enabled it to employ strategies based on dividing the enclave into smaller units, with each run by and protected by an independent brigade, and not only in wartime, in order to minimize the chances of enemy intelligence penetration.

“All countries and armies use this method, including Israel. That’s why the Palestinian resistance movements, particularly Hamas, realized that it is a viable and effective approach, and indeed they implemented it perfectly,” Abbas claimed.

Hamas was keen on doing a better job of ensuring the confidentiality of its information than in past wars, especially as related to its security and military operations, and this was evident in the measures taken during the May 10-21 escalation.

During the mini-war with Israel, Palestinian security and police forces arrested 43 “rumormongers” in Gaza.

“The persons detained spread rumors that would destabilize the homefront, and made fake calls to some houses and residential towers, saying they would be bombed [by the Israeli Air Force],” Iyad al-Buzum, spokesperson for the Hamas-run Gaza Interior Ministry, explained.

During the same period, it was known by all Gazans that approaching certain locations, especially military sites, would probably get them arrested, at best. Interacting with any kind of Israeli attempts to “entrap them,” whether on social media or via mobile phones, was and is prohibited as well.

The information security efforts have continued after the cease-fire.

On Wednesday, Gaza’s Interior Ministry warned the public not to circulate information that might help Israel in any way.

“The occupation is intensifying its efforts after the aggression to collect information to update and reach new targets…, so we call on citizens to raise their security awareness, to act cautiously, and not to transmit any information related to the resistance,” Buzum said.

Additional vigorous measures were taken to ensure improved compliance with the security rules.

All this played a significant role in Palestinian military and security achievements and what Abbas called a resounding Israeli failure.

“In return, for the first time, there were serious political disagreements within the Israeli body itself, even on the military level. The leadership of the Israeli army, the Mossad and the [IDF] Military Intelligence Directorate totally rejected the scenario of going to a ground war with the Palestinian parties in Gaza, though [Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu was brandishing this option in a showy manner,” Abbas said.

This increased tensions on the Israeli homefront as well.

“Nearly a thousand people demonstrated on Balfour Street [in Jerusalem], near Netanyahu’s residence, to demand his resignation,” last Saturday, accusing him of failing to bring security to Israelis, and of dragging Israel into an operation in the Gaza Strip for personal reasons, the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper reported.

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