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November 19, 2013 11:48 am

Hamas Tunnel-Digging Unit Uncovered

avatar by Anav Silverman / Tazpit News Agency

Israeli Paratrooper Forces uncover a tunnel network used by terrorist organizations during Operation Cast Lead. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Around the one year anniversary of heavy rocket bombardment of Israeli cities and Israel’s Operation of Pillar Defense in November 2012, Al Jazeera ran a revealing television report about Hamas, which shed some light about its new strategy of terror against Israel: an operative unit that specializes in digging tunnels.

Al Jazeera, the Arab media network based in Qatar, sent a correspondent to accompany a group of Hamas diggers who were filmed below ground preparing infrastructure for firing rockets. Using electric jackhammers to dig a tunnel through the packed rock, sand and soil, the Hamas operatives described their preparation for the inevitable next round of hostilities with Israel. They can spend weeks at a time underground without being detected, one operative explained.

The offensive tunnels are created for the purpose of kidnapping Israeli soldiers and are a central part of Hamas’ military strategy, according to Abu Ubaida, a Hamas military spokesperson quoted in the Al Jazeera report.

Hamas held a huge military rally in the Gaza Strip during the past weekend marking the anniversary of Operation Pillar of Defense. Several thousand well-equipped fighters from Hamas’ military wing paraded M75 missile and multiple-rocket launchers. Senior Hamas official Mahmoud Al-Zahar declared that the Hamas military would “reach out for all of Palestine.”

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“Every day [that] passes brings us closer to the liberation of Jerusalem,” added senior Hamas military commander Raed Saa’ed.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu stated last week that since Operation Pillar of Defense, the security situation in the area has significantly improved. There has been a 98 percent decrease in the amount of rocket and missile fire from Gaza during the past 12 months.

Netanyahu, however, added that despite the relative calm, “we are not deluding ourselves” as Hamas develops an “underground track” of tunnels to carry out attacks. The Israeli prime minister also pointed out that the terrorist organization is also manufacturing and storing rockets in the residential areas of Gaza.

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