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February 3, 2016 8:09 am

The Terror Tunnels Are Back, But the World Is Silent

avatar by Stephen M. Flatow /

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Media outlets downplay the fact that the Gaza tunnels are used to smuggle in weapons for jihadist terror groups. Photo: Elder of Ziyon.

Media outlets downplay the fact that the Gaza tunnels are used to smuggle in weapons for jihadist terror groups. Photo: Elder of Ziyon. – Last week’s deaths of seven Hamas terrorists in the collapse of a tunnel they were digging coincided with complaints by residents of an Israeli town near Gaza that underground digging has come so close to their homes that they have felt their floors shake.

Speaking on Israel Radio, the head of the Eshkol Regional Council, Gadi Yarkoni, said numerous residents of Moshav Pri Gan, adjacent to the Gaza border, have reported hearing the sounds of underground digging and felt the floors of their homes shaking.

What’s going on here? We thought the Hamas terror tunnels were a thing of the past. They were supposed to have been destroyed in the 2014 Gaza war. The Obama administration promised that safeguards would be in place to ensure that cement entering Gaza would be used for houses that were damaged in the fighting.

Thanks to former State Department official Dennis Ross, we now know what happened to all those US promises. From 2009 to 2011, Ross served as a senior aide to then-secretary of state Hillary Clinton and as Middle East director on the National Security Council. During the 2014 Gaza war, Ross, writing on the op-ed page of the Washington Post in August, revealed some of what went on behind the scenes in the preceding years.

“I argued with Israeli leaders and security officials, telling them they needed to allow more construction materials, including cement, into Gaza so that housing, schools, and basic infrastructure could be built,” Ross disclosed. “They countered that Hamas would misuse it, and they were right.”

Assured by the Obama administration’s insistence that the cement would not be used, Israel allowed it to be imported. The result? Hamas built “a labyrinth of underground tunnels, bunkers, command posts and shelters for its leaders, fighters and rockets,” Ross wrote. They built them with “an estimated 600,000 tons of cement,” some of which was “diverted from construction materials allowed into Gaza.”

In last week’s Democratic “Town Hall” event in Iowa, Hillary Clinton spoke with pride of her energetic efforts to negotiate an end to the second Gaza war (in 2012). She said the Israelis were convinced that they needed to send ground forces into Gaza to root out the terrorists. For some reason, Clinton either was confident that she knew better; or she simply didn’t care whether or not the terrorists were defeated. She described how she frantically shuttled from Cairo to Jerusalem to work out a cease-fire and deter an Israeli ground invasion.

The second sentence of the cease-fire agreement that Clinton brokered stated: “All Palestinian factions shall top all hostilities from the Gaza Strip against Israel, including rocket attacks and all attacks along the border.”

It seems to me that digging a tunnel from the Gaza side of the border to the Israeli side of the border, for the express purpose of kidnapping and murdering Israelis, qualifies as “hostilities.” Yet in the months following the cease-fire, the Obama administration did nothing to stop the digging.

One is left with the distinct impression that the Obama administration wanted a cease-fire at any price. But as usual, it was Israel that ended up paying the price. The Israeli ground forces were never sent in, leaving Hamas two more years to dig the tunnels that wrought such havoc in the third Gaza war, in 2014.

In her remarks at the Iowa event, Clinton made no mention of the consequences of her cease-fire. It was as if the tunnels never existed, as if her cease-fire brought peace and harmony to the Middle East.

But here we are again, back at square one, with the Obama administration pressing Israel to allow cement for “home reconstruction,” and Hamas diverting the cement for tunnel reconstruction.

Homes in Moshav Pri Gan are shaking from all the digging that is supposedly not taking place. Hamas terrorists are dying in the collapse of tunnels that supposedly do not exist. And the Times of Israel reports: “It is estimated that since the end of [Operation] Protective Edge, Hamas has dug dozens of tunnels of varying lengths.”

Dennis Ross summed it up: “They were right.” The Israelis were right, after all. The Israelis were right that cement would be used for terror tunnels. Now it’s time for all the Obama administration officials, past and present, who had a hand in this fiasco to take responsibility for the consequences of their actions, and to endorse Israel’s right to intervene.

Stephen M. Flatow, an attorney in New Jersey, is the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in an Iranian-sponsored Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995.

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  • The author undermines his position by trying to analyze the Obama Administration’s behavior. What else does the author expect from Obama? Obama’s repertoire is limited to a few worn-out Marxist policies, some tired, old, third-world dictatorship tricks, and the usual grab-bag of jokes about being Israel’s best buddy.

  • Theodore Crawford

    People of Israel, expect nothing from the Obama administration.

  • Michael Fox

    Israel is well aware of the tunnels. It knows where they are and how many there are. When the time is right, Israel will take them out.Hamas is a manageable threat. The real danger lies to the north.

  • ZG

    Obama’s administration – Israel hate, pro Shiate Muslim organization

  • Why the shock and surprise? Israel is a legitimate target because we are keeping the Gazans in ‘the largest open-air prison in the world’. The fact that they could have built the beginning of a Palestinian State with the infrastructure Israel left them is ignored. If they had chosen peace and not aggression, Israel would have allowed then a seaport and an airport, but the world is intrinsically antisemitic, but uses opposition to Israel and Zionism to hide this fact.

  • America has some responsibility 2 react cut off funds etc if the POTUS refuses or does nothing then ISRAEL has some some choices no cement from Israel stop selling electric 2 Hamas limiting what goods r transferred by truck some how flood on ISRAELS side a water moat deep enough 2 effect the use of a tunnel and any other means How 2 handle use of medical treatments 2 gasah residents think thats a no/no

  • Ephraim

    Many people attack the Israeli government. To me, by far its greatest failure is ignoring the threats to its citizens. They KNOW new tunnels are being built, and have done NOTHING about it. They are down on their knees begging for Hamas savages to exit one of those tunnels and cause great harm. It is nothing short of a crime that Israel sees no reason to destroy the tunnels.

  • Nancy B

    So well stated! Yes, please add links so I can email my complaints to all of the feckless arm-twisters and decision makers. At least Ross tells the truth… which anyone with a smidgen of common sense could and did predict at the time.

  • Michael Garfinkel

    So Dennis Ross now admits he was wrong to argue that the Israelis should allow concrete deliveries into Gaza.

    Well, one thing is for certain – it’s not going to be Mr. Ross or his children who will be murdered in their beds in the next attack from Gaza!

    Isn’t it past time for the Israelis to say enough is enough – and finally destroy the ability of Hamas to make war on Jewish civilians?

    Isn’t it past time that Israel put an end to this grotesque charade, whether the American administration “endorses” their right to intervene or not?

  • Dave

    “The Obama administration promised ….” Hahahahahahahaha!

  • ART

    We now know, thanks to the non existent emails, that Hillarys’ hostility towards Israel runs deep. We see the emails of Sidney Blumenthal, Amb. Tom Pickering etc advocating the subversion of Israel, an ally, Hillary encouraged and supported the undermining of a friendly democracy See Shumley Botechs’ articles on this.
    Her “new” advisers are equally anti Israel

  • Since the 1880’s Jews have had to fight off terrorist attack after terrorist attack. In 1948 resident Palestinians and surrounding Arab nations launched a totally unprovoked war that resulted in 6,000 Jewish dead and 30,000 wounded according to the British Encyclopaedia, page 142. One percent of the Jewish population!

    Since then there have been and still are countless terrorist atrocities that so far have caused more than 3,800 Israeli deaths and in excess of 25,000 wounded.

    World reaction presented us with Ban ki Moon opining that the present strife was all due to Israeli occupation of territory that was allocated to her through the League of Nations Mandate.

    General Assembly resolutions are not laws but during 2015
    alone that body with its Moslem voting block has issued
    22 resolutions against Israel, one against Iran and one against North Korea. There were no resolutions against Syria whose war toll against its co-religionists is exceeding 250,000.

  • Obama made clear in his Cairo speech that reveres the sociopath Muhammad who personally decapitated 600 – 900 unarmed Jews and kidnapped and sexually enslaved 1000 Jewish girls and women. Obama loves it when Muslims emulate Muhammad and murder Jews. If you revere the man, you revere his conduct. That is why Obama will never stop Muslims from murdering Jews.

    • Chet Bdr Rana

      No one can stop this contaminated unhuman attitude even world powerful leaders

  • Carol Feltoon

    I agree. So often I will read an article such as this one which leaves me raging but without appropriate means to respond other than a comment. I’m involved with Aipac and would gladly make my voice heard if I were provided with the links.

  • Naomi Weinberger

    I sent an email to the State Department.

    You should include links for people to complain.