Hamas Seeks To Attack Israeli Skyscrapers With Planes
This article is from the archive of The New York Sun before the launch of its new website in 2022. The Sun has neither altered nor updated such articles but will seek to correct any errors, mis-categorizations or other problems introduced during transfer.
JERUSALEM – Hamas is seeking the ability to attack Israel using small airplanes laden with explosives to be flown September 11-style into important targets, possibly Tel Aviv skyscrapers, a leader of Hamas’s so-called military wing, Abu Abdullah, told World Net Daily yesterday.
Mr. Abdullah is considered one of the most important operational members of Hamas’s Izzedine al-Qassam Martyrs Brigades, Hamas’s declared “resistance” department. He said his group would not immediately carry out airplane attacks, but that Hamas is preparing for the possibility the long-term truce it claims to abide by might end.
Mr. Abdullah’s statements come after Palestinian Arab security officials told World Net Daily yesterday they believe Hamas recently smuggled into the Gaza Strip three small airplanes that can carry explosives and be used to attack Israel. They said information indicates the aircraft were purchased from eastern European dealers and that Hamas members received flight training from professionals in Sudan, Iran, and Syria.
Mr. Abdullah refused to confirm the reports, but said his group has the right to acquire aircraft.
“I cannot confirm whether this information is right or not, but for sure it is one of our goals to have these airplanes,” Mr. Abdullah said. “It is part of our legitimate arming in case the enemy [Israel] thinks to launch a big attack against our people.”
Mr. Abdullah said Hamas would fly the planes into Jewish targets, possibly Tel Aviv skyscrapers.
“The goal is to have these planes carry maximum quantities of explosives and that they will be able to hit the targets that are fixed for its operation at a high level of accuracy. All the Zionist goals in our dear Palestine are legitimate. I estimate that this tool will not be used against regular targets. We will choose precious targets and I do not want to speak about strategic or any other targets. …We know that the enemy is building new and high buildings in Tel Aviv.”
The terror leader listed possible military targets, as well.
“[Our target] could be important military and civil buildings and compounds and it could also be settlements in 1948 occupied Palestine [Israel]. We know that many of the decisions to kill our brothers are taken in the army headquarters in occupied Beer Sheva [considered the capital of the Israeli Negev desert]. All these targets are legitimate ones,” Mr. Abdullah said.
Mr. Abdullah would not specify whether the airplanes to be used in the attacks Hamas is seeking the ability to carry out would be piloted or flown by remote control.
He said Hamas is currently abiding by a truce with Israel it agreed to last February, but that at the same time his group was advancing its “resistance” capabilities in the eventuality the truce may fall apart.
“[Acquiring the airplanes] is part of the balance and the equilibrium with the enemy we have been working on these last years. It is not a secret that our military wing is very creative and works hard to improve its tools,” Mr. Abdullah said.
Hamas in the past few months has claimed many times its “military wing” functions separately from the group’s political leadership.
Since Hamas was elected to Palestinian Arab parliament in January, the terror group has refused to recognize Israel’s right to exist. Some Hamas leaders have hinted at the possibility of negotiations. In a widely circulated report, Hamas Foreign Minister Mahmoud al-Zahar previously told World News Daily his group would consider talking with the Jewish state through a third party. But Hamas leaders, including Mr. al-Zahar and the group’s overall leader, Khaled Meshaal, regularly declare they will not give up the right to “resistance.”
Asked if Hamas’s political leadership sanctions the acquiring of aircraft for attacks, Mr. Abdullah replied, “The acquiring of any weapon is a decision of the military wing and it depends on a number of conditions related to financial facilities and to the situation on the ground. The Hamas political leadership starts to play a role only when it comes to the question of time – when to come back to the military operations because as you know we are respecting the cease-fire.”
Israel says Hamas continues to direct attacks using other terror groups, particularly the Gaza-based Popular Resistance Committees. The Shin Bet Security Services recently announced a Hamas senior member, Ahmed Randor, was responsible for a thwarted major bombing by the Committees at the Karni crossing, the main checkpoint between Israel and Gaza.