Israeli Defense Officials: Hamas Building New Tunnels from Gaza into Israel
Israeli defense officials said Hamas recently commissioned several new attack tunnels that would reach Israeli territory, Al Jazeera reported on Thursday.
Israeli forces succeeded in destroying several such tunnels — intended to launch terrorist attacks against Israeli soldiers and also communities along the border with Gaza — during last summer’s 50-day conflict between Israel and Hamas.
Israel placed stringent restrictions on cement imports into Gaza to prevent Hamas from rebuilding these tunnels, many of which were constructed using funds from countries like Iran and Qatar.
Despite these restrictions, Hamas has succeeded. Defense officials said that in recent months Hamas finished digging several tunnels that it intends to use should another military conflict with Israel erupt in the Gaza Strip.
During last summer’s confrontation, these tunnels posed a challenge to Israeli forces. Hamas terrorists used the tunnels to surprise, kill and injure many Israeli soldiers.
The same security sources noted, however, that the IDF possesses detailed intelligence about these tunnels. They said Israel has avoided destroying these tunnels to prevent a flare-up of violence with Hamas.
Israeli sources released this information two days after it was reported that Israeli security forces had captured and interrogated a Hamas operative they said specialized in digging tunnels. He apparently revealed to interrogators much information about Hamas’ strategy and preparations for upcoming wars.