A senior Hamas official said in an interview on Sunday that preparations for the terrorist strikes across Israel on Saturday began two years ago, according to Breitbart News.
A senior Hamas official, Ali Baraka, claimed on Sunday on Russia Today (via the Middle East Media Research Institute) that Hamas had been secretly planning the invasion of southern Israel for two years.
That would put the start of those preparations after President Joe Biden took office and after the disastrous, deadly U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.
“We have been preparing for this for two years. We have local factories for everything. We have rockets with ranges of 250 kms, 160 kms, 80 kms, 45 kms, and 10 kms,” he said in an October 8, 2023, Russia Today interview.
“We have factories for mortars and their shells. We have factories for manufacturing B-7 and B-10 guns and their shells. We have factories for manufacturing Kalashnikov rifles and their bullets. We have a Russian license to produce Kalashnikov bullets in Gaza,” he added.
Baraka said that Iran was helping Hamas, which is an allegation that the Biden administration has not been able to confirm.
“Our allies are those that support us with weapons and money. First and foremost, it is Iran that is giving us money and weapons. There is also Hizbullah, and the Arab and Islamic people who are standing by us,” he said.
Baraka also suggested that Hamas was interested in a prisoner swap with the United States, similar to the one the Biden administration had facilitated between Iran and the United States, in which the latter released $6 billion and five Iranians jailed in the United States in exchange for the five Americans held in Iran.
“There are also prisoners in the U.S. We want them. Of course. There are Hamas members sentenced for life in the U.S. We want them too. Of course," Baraka said.
The Hamas leader went on, explaining what they plan to demand of the United States: "We demand that the U.S. free our sons from prisons. The U.S. conducts prisoner swaps. Only recently, it did one with Iran. Why wouldn’t it conduct a prisoner swap with us? After all, it is participating in this war.
“Biden, the highest authority in the U.S., declared that he stands with Israel against Hamas and the Palestinian people. Therefore, he is a partner to this aggression, he must pay the price,” he said.
He boasted that only a handful of Hamas leaders were in the know about the impending attack and that the organization cultivated a "rational" public persona to cover up its true intentions.
“We made them think that Hamas was busy with governing Gaza, and that it wanted to focus on the 2.5 million Palestinians [in Gaza], and has abandoned the resistance altogether,” he said. “All the while, under the table, Hamas was preparing for this big attack.”
“The zero hour was kept completely secret,” he said, adding, “The number of people who knew about the attack and its timing could be counted on one hand.”