A new report issued by the Israeli Alma Research Institute concluded that Hamas is increasing its activities in Lebanon, “in order to threaten Israel on two fronts simultaneously,” noting that Hamas’ activities have begun to overwhelm and anger Hezbollah.
The mobilization of the underground force of the Gaza-based movement based in Lebanon has grown over the years, to include hundreds of activists working in Hamas’s “construction office”, which is responsible for building and developing military capabilities on Israel’s northern border.
He added, “The force, stationed in the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, is hidden from the Lebanese authorities and Hezbollah and has the potential to create a very serious challenge to Hezbollah. The construction office headed by Majid Qader Mahmoud Qader, who recently moved to Lebanon from Istanbul, consists of two units. Al-Shamali unit and Khaled Ali unit, each of which includes hundreds of activists.
The report continued: “The Northern Unit operates in five main geographical areas in Lebanon: Beirut, Tripoli, Bekaa, Sidon and Tyre. It is headed by William Abu Shanab, who underwent professional training on drones in Iran and Indonesia. His deputy is Baraa Hassan Farhat and the unit’s intelligence officer. Khalil Muhammad Azzam, while Muhammad Hamid Jabara leads the “Khaled Ali” unit.
According to the report, “the two units develop and manufacture weapons in Lebanon, including missiles, drones, and unmanned submarines. They also deal in recruitment, training, and specialized qualification courses such as sniping, operating anti-tank missile launchers, drone operators, urban warfare, aviation, and sea diving.” and tactical intelligence gathering.
He pointed out that “Qadir’s deputy, Mohamed Ibrahim Wad Salem, is the head of the manufacturing department in the office that provides technical assistance and develops and manufactures missiles and drones.”
The report said: “Salem is said to be a mechanical engineer by trade, and is considered one of the leaders of Hamas’ medium-range missile development program, as well as being responsible for improving the technology of precision missiles, drones, and explosive submarines.”
The report also mentioned the names of many other prominent “Hamas” activists in Lebanon, “including Saleh al-Arouri, deputy head of the movement’s political bureau and responsible for attacks in the West Bank.”
He added: “Hamas has been active in Lebanon for decades, and its military activity in the country is carried out with the help, initiative and supervision of the Palestine Branch of the Iranian Quds Force, which is part of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Iranian officials also boasted about many terrorist groups and “armies” that operate outside its borders. In late September, Gholam Ali Rashid, the commander of Iran’s Khatam al-Anbiya headquarters, said that the former commander of the Quds Force, Qassem Soleimani, said three months before his targeted killing that he had organized six armies outside Iranian territory.
The report pointed out that “Israel publicly acknowledged the intensification of Hamas activity in Lebanon, including the Hezbollah stronghold in southern Lebanon, and it was Hamas, with Iran’s blessing, that fired rockets at Israel during Operation Guardian of the Walls” guarding the walls. Last May. This actually forced Hezbollah to join the firing of rockets, and according to the Institute’s assessment, Hezbollah was doing so without a real desire to do so.
The report stated: “While Hezbollah considers Hamas and the Palestinians in general as “guests” in Lebanon, it does not appear that Hamas considers itself a mere guest in Lebanon, according to the intensification of independent military activities carried out by Hamas from Lebanon”.
He continued, “It is possible that Hamas’s continued activity will create a very difficult challenge for Hezbollah, as Hamas seeks to achieve its own interests in Lebanon, including not informing Hezbollah before it fires missiles at Israel, a behavior that could drag on.” Hezbollah is about to go to war with Israel, against the party’s interests.
The report concluded by saying: “Although this may be in Hezbollah’s interest, Israel must expand the boundaries of its thinking and act publicly against Hamas’ targets in Lebanon if Hamas attacks the Gaza Strip and vice versa.”