By Ben Barrack
A primary issue in this past summer’s fighting between Israel and Hamas involved Hamas tunnels in Gaza. They were used both offensively and defensively. They proved to be the last straw for the Israelis who went to work destroying them. The tunnels were intentionally built under hospitals, schools and residential areas so the IDF could be portrayed has targeting civilians; they were war crimes committed by Hamas.
Now, Hamas is building more tunnels:
Hamas has begun to reconstruct its network of tunnels within Gaza, and Israel is watching for signs it is working on cross-border attack tunnels as well, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said on Tuesday.
Under no circumstances will Israelis have to get used to a “drizzle of rockets” anywhere, “not in the North and not in the South,” Ya’alon vowed.
Israel retaliated for Friday’s Gazan rocket attack on the Eshkol region by carrying out an air strike on a cement factory in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, which Hamas has used to rehabilitate its tunnels. The rocket hit an open area.
“We saw that Hamas acted immediately to arrest those who fired the rockets,” Ya’alon said. “In other words, Hamas does not want an escalation. I hope this situation remains as is. It means that Hamas is deterred in the Gaza Strip. I don’t think it has an interest in an escalation. Nevertheless, we have to be prepared for all developments. We certainly see reconstruction of defensive tunnels, there is such activity. With regard to offensive tunnels, we are following all developments.”
So-called defensive tunnels enable Hamas members to move within the Gaza Strip underground, transfer weapons and coordinate hit-and-run more varied. I cannot go into detail,” the commander said.
Perhaps Israel taking back Gaza is the only solution.