The war below ground to defend Israel continued over the weekend, as the IDF destroyed the third Hamas terror tunnel in two months, according to the IDF Spokesperson’s Twitter feed. The latest tunnel ran in the area of the Kerem Shalom crossing from Gaza into Israel, a location that directly impacted the people of Gaza. IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus noted in a video on Twitter that the tunnel not only violates Israeli sovereignty, but also puts at risk the operations of the Kerem Shalom humanitarian crossing, which he noted is where 5 million tons of humanitarian goods enter Gaza from Israel per year.
A separate video by Col. Koby Heler on the IDF Spokesperson Twitter feed said the tunnel ran under the crossing itself, while another Twitter post said that the crossing would not be open the day after the IDF destruction of the tunnel “following an assessment of the situation.”
Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Conricus said that the IDF “does not wish to escalate the situation, however we hold the Hamas terrorist organization responsible for any acts of aggression against the State of Israel or its civilians and we will continue to defend our borders and sovereignty.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had an even sterner warning to Gaza’s terrorists: Don’t test us.
“We are systematically eliminating the tunnel infrastructure of Hamas and Islamic Jihad; they should not try us,” said the Israeli leader in comments released by his office on Sunday.
Not only did the tunnel put the Kerem Shalom crossing and its humanitarian goods at risk, it also cost the people of Gaza a lot to build the terror tunnel. Prime Minister’s Office Spokesman Ofir Gendelman said in his own Twitter post that the tunnel “was dug in order to send terrorists into Israel and to smuggle advanced weaponry. It had cost millions at the expense of poor Gazans.”
The danger could have been even higher. The tunnel’s path intersected gas and diesel fuel lines according to another IDF video posted to Twitter showing the tunnel’s location.
Terror tunnels have been a weapon of choice for Hamas for years, including for use in kidnapping efforts. After destroying tunnels during the last major conflict with Hamas, Israel isn’t waiting for the next war to destroy more threats to their people.
In comments released by his office Saturday night after the tunnel was destroyed, Netanyahu termed the tunnel a “main Hamas terrorist infrastructure” and said, “We are responding to aggression against the State of Israel and are taking vigorous and systematic action against hostile infrastructures.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, January 14, 2018)