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Hamas claims militant group prepared for Israel attack for 2 years

A senior Hamas official based in Lebanon said militants had been preparing for the attack on Israel for two years, according to an edited interview with Russia Today’s Arabic-news channel RTArabic published on its website a day after the attack.

“We manufactured a lot,” said Ali Baraka, head of Hamas National Relations Abroad. “We have local factories for everything.”

The factories can make different rockets with maximum ranges from 10 to 250 kilometers, and they can make mortars and mortar shells, he said.

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They also produced firearms.

“We have factories for Kalashnikovs and their bullets. We’re manufacturing the bullets with permission from the Russians. We’re building it in Gaza.”

“None of our factions,” and “even our allies did not know about the zero hour” of the attack in order to “preserve the secrecy of the battle,” Baraka claimed.

Half an hour after the attack, “the Palestinian resistance factions were contacted, in addition to our allies Hezbollah and Iran,” he said. Hamas also notified Turkey, he said.

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Baraka made no mention of any outside involvement in the planning of the attack, saying only that the allies of Hamas “support us with weapons and money. First and foremost, it is Iran that gives us money and weapons. Also Hezbollah.”

Russia inquired about the attack afterward, Baraka said.

“They were updated about our situation and the goals of the battle,” Baraka said.

He also said Moscow was happy for the United States to be distracted by the Israel-Hamas conflict instead of the war in Ukraine.

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“Even Russia sympathizes with us. Even the Russians sent us messages (Saturday) morning. There is sympathy. It is happy for America to be embroiled in Palestine. It lessens the pressure on it in Ukraine. One battle eases the other battle. So therefore we are not alone in the battlefield.”
Baraka said that among the goals of Hamas is the release of Palestinian prisoners in the United States.

“We have Hamas members sentenced to life in prison in the US,” he said. “We call on the US to free our sons in their prisons. The US does prisoner swaps. It recently did one with Iran. Why doesn’t it do a prisoner swap with us?”

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