Hamas is increasingly using sensitive civilian facilities in Gaza to protect its military assets from being targeted by Israel, ahead of a further round of conflict. It is also digging dozens of “terror tunnels” into Israel, The Times of Israel has learned.

Gaza’s Islamist rulers have been placing rocket launching pads next to water reservoirs, and attaching reconnaissance cameras to mosque minarets and water towers, The Times of Israel was told, in a bid to avoid IAF airstrikes during an upcoming round of confrontation.

The IDF has noticed a recent shift in Hamas’s strategy: While actively preventing rocket launches toward Israel by rogue groups in the Gaza Strip, the Islamist organization — which violently took control of the territory in 2007 and has ruled it ever since — is investing its limited resources digging tunnels leading into Israel for the purposes of a large-scale terror attack or a kidnapping modeled after that of Gilad Shalit in June 2006. At the same time, Hamas still maintains a large number of locally manufactured M-75 rockets, which can reach Tel Aviv and beyond. […]