The leader of Hamas in Gaza, former Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, announced on Friday that the movement’s military wing, Al-Qassam Brigades, has found electronic devices used by the Israelis to trace tunnels on the border, the Huffington Post has reported. Haniyeh revealed the details during his Friday prayer speech at a mosque near his home in Al-Shati Refugee Camp in the besieged territory. The discovery of the devices, he said, was made 10 days ago.
According to the Israelis, Hamas keeps digging tunnels along the Gaza border in order to use them to carry out attacks. However, Hamas says that they are for self-defence and will not be used to launch attacks against anyone. A spokesman for the Islamic movement stressed this point on Thursday.
Commenting on the discussions for rapprochement between Turkey and Israel, Haniyeh said that the government in Ankara has made progress over the issue of a viable seaport for the Gaza Strip.
A Turkish official announced on Tuesday that the two countries have come “close” to reaching an agreement to restore full diplomatic relations. Links were broken in 2010 after Israeli commandos attacked a Turkish flotilla on its way to break the siege on Gaza. Nine Turkish citizens were killed in the assault; a tenth died in 2014 as a direct result of the injuries sustained at the hands of the Israelis.
It is common knowledge that Turkey has insisted on Israel lifting the siege on Gaza as one of its three main conditions to resolve the diplomatic deadlock. This might be achieved by building a port to be used by the Palestinians in Gaza as a window to the outside world for passengers and freight.