The report states that this past January, "in the context of Hamas's political maneuvering [towards] integration into the Palestinian administration, the organization declared its commitment to a period of operational calm." At the same time, however, "senior Hamas officials said that not only do they have no intention of disarming, but they remain committed to the continuation of the armed struggle to liberate the rest of the areas, including cities inside Israel."
Hamas thus began an international campaign to portray itself as a political body that should be removed from the list of terrorist organizations, without having to disarm or shelve the path of 'resistance'. This, the report makes clear, is part of an attempt to neutralize any objections to Hamas participation in the upcoming PA municipal and general elections.
"During the period of calm," the report states, "Hamas has employed doublespeak regarding its declarations on the cessation of operational activity." Hamas pretends to be maintaining the understandings regarding the calm, but in actuality has provided behind-the-scenes assistance to various terrorist organizations in perpetrating major attacks.
For instance, it was learned this week that the body of Jerusalem resident Sasson Nuriel was found, after he was kidnapped and murdered in Ramallah. On Tuesday morning, Hamas took full responsibility for the crime.
A Hamas terrorist was arrested in June on his way to effecting a suicide attack at Soroka Hospital in Be'er Sheva. Hamas was also involved, via its operational arm known as the Popular Resistance Committees, in the killing of former PA security commander Musa Arafat.
Throughout the period of declared calm, Hamas has continued to fire rockets at Israeli targets, the report states, "occasionally under the pretext of retaliating against some Israeli action that it perceived as illegitimate, such as striking at fugitive terrorists."
"Hamas has exploited the period of calm,"the report states, "in order to build up its military strength, boost its operational capabilities and build up its power in preparation for a confrontation with Israel and/or PA elements." To this end, Hamas smuggled "large amounts of war materiel into the Gaza Strip in the post-disengagement breakdown of the Philadelphi corridor."
The report also notes that Hamas continued its efforts to raise funds for its terrorism infrastructures, and that senior Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip and Syria have made various statements and threats regarding the continuation of terrorist actions.