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Hamas leaders in Gaza scramble to avoid Israeli attack

Hamas leaders are reaching out to regional allies to try restrain Israel from taking military action in response to the kidnappings.
Mourners surround the bodies of Palestinian members of Hamas' armed wing during their funeral at a mosque in Gaza City June 21, 2014. Hamas' armed wing in Gaza said at least six members of its group were killed in the collapse of a tunnel the group had dug close to the border with Israel to infiltrate the Jewish state. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem (GAZA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST) - RTR3UZ0H
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Going into the third week since the disappearance of the three Israeli settlers from the West Bank, Hamas, which Israel accused of the kidnapping, feels that an attack against it in the Gaza Strip is imminent. The concern has become even more pressing with reports that three bodies were found near Hebron, the home city of the two Hamas-linked suspects identified by Israel last week as Marwan Qawasmeh and Amer Abu Aisha.

Al-Monitor has learned that Hamas leaders in Gaza have virtually disappeared from sight, with journalists facing great challenges in reaching them. Hamas has implemented strict security measures to thwart any Israeli attack against its leaders, who resurfaced only to attend the funeral of five Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades militants who died on the evening of June 20, when a tunnel collapsed on them in eastern Gaza.

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