On December 10, in a Palestinian refugee “camp” within the Lebanese city of Tyre, there was a major explosion at a mosque associated with Hamas. Despite the terrorist group’s initial claims to the contrary, the explosion came from a large cache of munitions and arms it stored beneath the house of worship. At the funeral for a Hamas operative killed in the blast, a gunfight ensued, possibly between Hamas and Fatah. These events are evidence of a much more troubling fact: the Gaza-based jihadist group has been building up its forces in Lebanon so that it can attack Israel from multiple fronts during the next war. Yoni Ben Menachem explains:
This new Hamas infrastructure was already used during Operation Guardian of the Walls in May 2021, when their operatives fired several rockets at northern Israel. . . . Hamas’s military infrastructure in Lebanon includes several hundred Palestinian operatives in the Palestinian refugee camps and was established with the approval of Hizballah and Iran and with the blind eye of the Lebanese government.
Hamas’s working theory is that Israel should be militarily engaged on two simultaneous fronts in the event of a war on the Gaza Strip border. This would prevent Hizballah from being held responsible for attacking Israel from southern Lebanon.
The Israeli security establishment assesses that at the moment, the goal of Hamas’s military infrastructure in Lebanon is mainly to harass Israel by firing rockets in a measured manner that would not lead to war in southern Lebanon.
According to Israeli security sources, Iran is instructing Hamas operatives in southern Lebanon how to manufacture rockets and drones. Hamas’s manufacturing system in Lebanon is part of the organization’s “construction department” and includes several workshops under the command of Majed Khader, who was based in Turkey and was transferred to Lebanon last year. . . . Workshops and rockets are hidden in civilian buildings, including in residential buildings and businesses.