Hamas tunnel Gaza Palestine
© ReutersThe former officer said Hamas is planning a 'strategic ambush' for Israeli troops upon their upcoming entry into Rafah
Former Israeli army officer, Major General Israel Ziv, said on 26 April that Hamas' military wing is preparing an ambush to confront Israeli forces upon their entry into Gaza's southernmost city of Rafah, where the army's long-planned invasion is approaching.

Hamas is working on a "strategic ambush" for when Israeli troops decide to enter Rafah, Ziv said, adding that this would be a "disaster for Israel."

"The Rafah invasion poses a high risk, one higher than everything [Israel] did in Gaza, given the fact that Rafah is a very crowded place and difficult to fight in, as well as the US and Egypt's sensitivity toward it," the former officer said, according to Al-Mayadeen.

His comments came two days after a joint statement released by several Palestinian resistance factions, including Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) movement, in which they vowed to confront any upcoming attack on Rafah.

The Palestinian resistance "will not sit idly by" as Israeli troops enter Rafah, the statement said, adding that "all options [for escalation] are on the table."

The factions vowed in the statement "to defend our people and counter the aggression with full force and responsibility, promising to teach the Zionist enemy a lesson it will never forget."

Comment: What with Iran's recent humiliation of Israel, there's the possibility that they are capable of following through.

Israel claims Rafah is Hamas' final stronghold, despite the group's military wing being entrenched across Gaza along with several other resistance factions.

Hamas' Qassam Brigades said on 25 April that they destroyed an Israeli surveillance site in a mortar attack in the central Gaza Strip.

The southernmost city of Rafah holds over one million people, and military operations there pose the threat of an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe.

Israel's plan to evacuate the city involves moving Rafah's civilian population upwards towards the southern city of Khan Yunis, according to recent reports. Recently published satellite images show a large tent compound in Khan Yunis and Israeli troop gatherings at army bases and outposts near the strip - signaling that the invasion of Rafah may be imminent.