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Hamas’s armed wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, and the terrorist group’s various security branches simulated an Israeli ground incursion as part of a surprise drill held in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday.

During the drill, Hamas fighters deployed in various parts of Gaza where civilian traffic had been halted.

Reports from Gaza on Tuesday said that as part of the drill, fishing was stopped and a high level of alert was declared. A curfew was imposed on some streets.

Hamas forces fanned out along Gaza’s land borders and closed crossings to civilians and vehicles.

Officials in Gaza estimated that the drill had been prepared ahead of time, possibly in the expectation of a military conflict with Israel in the next few weeks.

A spokesman for the Interior Ministry in Gaza said that a drill’s aim was to evaluate the readiness of Gaza rescue forces and emergency network to handle a “state of emergency.”

Meanwhile, the Israel Defense Forces thinks that a tunnel dug from the Gaza Strip under the border into Israel that was exposed near Kerem Hashalom on Monday is an old one. IDF forces have spent the last two days following the tunnel route.

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.

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