Photo is from 2014, during the Gaza War, where the IDF’s paratroopers brigade is locating and disabling Hamas’ network of terror tunnels. [photo cred: Israeli Defense Forces]
On Sunday, April 15th, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said that Israel destroyed the “longest and deepest” terror tunnel over the weekend. It was dug by Hamas for the purposes of carrying out terrorist attacks and smuggling weapons.
The tunnel constructed was extremely deep and ran from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory, close to the community of Nahal Oz. It was also connected to a network of other tunnels and passages under Gaza, spanning kilometers, the army reported.
An IDF spokesman said that this terror tunnel had been built before or shortly after Operation Protective Edge, otherwise known as the 2014 Gaza War. Israel launched Operation Protective Edge in 2014 as a response to rocket fire from Gaza. During the operation, the IDF destroyed about 32 tunnels altogether (14 tunnels that entered Israeli territory and 18 still contained within Gaza).
This is the fifth tunnel found in recent months that the IDF has destroyed. The IDF spokesman stated, “The IDF doesn’t seek an escalation. We are defending our borders.”
Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said, “We will not tolerate or allow Hamas to turn the border area into an active combat zone.” He added that the recent violent riots and protests taking place on the Gazan border are a “cover for attempted terror attacks both above and below ground” as this tunnel passed under the border where riots and protests had recently taken place.
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman posted to twitter, “We open the week with an impressive intelligence and operational achievement, with the destruction of another terror tunnel, the longest and deepest discovered so far.” He pointed out to the world that is this how the millions of dollars of aid to Gaza are being used. He concluded, “A tunnel in which millions of dollars were invested, money that instead of relieving the strain on residents, was buried in the sand. Residents of Gaza, Hamas is burning your money on tunnels to nowhere. We will get our hands on all of them.”
It is the discovery of these terror tunnels that should outrage the international community and show where Hamas invests its money but sadly silence and inaction encourage Hamas to continue.