In recent months there have been three or four Hamas members who have apparently defected to Israel, bringing with them vital information about the locations and logistics of Hamas tunnels.
The most recent was earlier this month when a major Hamas member with intimate knowledge of the tunnel systems, Bassam Mahmoud Baraka, turned himself and his family in to Israel during the first week of June.
Hamas is panicking.
According to an article in Al Asharq al Awsat quoted by Palestine Press Agency, there is no link between the defectors, with all of them coming from different areas and under different field leadership. Hamas cannot figure out any pattern and is therefore having a hard time identifying potential escapees.
Hamas has already instituted new rules keeping critical personnel away from the border so they cannot escape. Hamas is also concerned that recent tunnel collapses were the result of internal sabotage. The news report says that Hamas seems to have reached a dead-end in its internal investigations on this huge security breach.
The defectors are not only talking about the locations of the tunnels but also details on how they are being built and their features. For example, some tunnels have showers, toilets and kitchens so terrorists can stay underground for extended periods of time.
Hamas engaged in a massive recruiting effort to rebuild tunnels destroyed in the 2014 war and hired hundreds of young men to build them. Now its leaders are wondering if this was a good idea, as some of the defectors were new recruits (even children - one that gave valuable information to Israel was 17 years old.)
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