After having paved an attack road along the length of the security barrier in Gaza, Hamas terrorists are now patrolling the road at a negligible distance from IDF border posts in an apparent attempt to create a new security reality and ready the ground for attack.
In recent days pictures have surfaced online showing armed Hamas terrorists in uniform conducting patrols in white Toyota 4×4 pick-up trucks along the road, all in broad day light and at a distance of just 300 meters (984 feet) from the border.
It is unclear whether the patrols are meant just to show a Hamas presence right on the border, or whether they are also intended for surveillance and gathering information about the IDF array on the border to be used in future attacks.
What is clear in the pictures is the direct threat posed by the patrols, as in the background of the pictures IDF posts and the border fence are clearly seen.
It would appear that the new patrols are meant to lull the IDF into accepting a new security reality in which Hamas has a presence on the border, and from that new status quo it would be easier for the terrorist organization to launch an attack under the guise of yet another patrol.
Those intentions of attack were clearly stated by senior Hamas member Fathi Hamad, who previously was the interior minister in the Hamas government.
Speaking two weeks ago on Friday, Hamad revealed that the road is meant to be ready for "the moment to attack."
Yisrael Beytenu chairperson Avigdor Liberman responded to the statement, warning, "the Israeli government is burying its head in the sand, and if the tragedy that is already written on the wall happens – the prime minister and defense minister will not be able to clean themselves of the responsibility."
Earlier reports revealed that sections of the road are complete just adjacent to Kibbutz Nahal Oz, which was hard-hit by Hamas mortars in the last round of fighting last summer.
Last Wednesday, the Hamas journal Al-Risala claimed that the IDF unsuccessfully tried to prevent the group's terrorists from continuing work on the road. It alleged that four IDF military bulldozers and two cars crossed the border to the east of Rafah as the IDF conducted deterrent fire and drones flew over the area.
The Hamas report went on to claim that Hamas Al-Qassam Brigades jeeps arrived in the region to secure its bulldozers against the IDF force, adding that IDF-owned civilian jeeps and army vehicles were stationed nearby.