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Hamas Official Downplays Discovery of Attack Tunnel in Israel

A Hamas official downplayed Israel’s announcement on Monday that an attack tunnel reaching into Israeli territory was discovered and destroyed.

“The Israeli statements are motivated by domestic politics,” the official claimed to Breitbart Jerusalem. “It’s an old tunnel that wasn’t part of our security program.”

“Hamas continues its efforts to convince the Palestinian people to pull their weight in rebuilding the Gaza Strip, but at the same time, the resistance, and Hamas chief among them, must prepare for more Israeli aggression,” he added.

History proves that we cannot trust the Israelis, and despite the ceasefire agreement, our premise is that Israel would opt for aggression rather than keeping its part of the deal, especially those that give some leeway to the residents of the Strip, like lifting the blockade, enabling maritime access, and allowing construction to go through.

Haaretz reported on Monday:

The Israeli military has uncovered a Hamas tunnel that crosses from Gaza into Israeli territory. This is the first such tunnel to be discovered since the 2014 Gaza war.

According to information released for publication on Monday, the tunnel was found 10 days ago during an Israel Defense Forces operation. Since its discovery, the military has destroyed the tunnel’s openings on both sides of the border fence. According to a senior defense official, tunnel openings were found in Israeli territory between the border fence and military bases and towns.

Ynet news further reported:

According to the security establishment’s estimates, the tunnel is designated for a strategic attack by dozens of Hamas fighters of their elite unit – “Nukhba.”

… Hamas’s excavation of this tunnel appears to be have been done relatively fast compared to those dug in the years prior to Operation Protective Edge, pointing to their having learned lessons and invested an unprecedented amount of money – in the millions of shekels – in the project. Even the depth of the tunnel, about 30 meters, is considered unusual. Nevertheless, in other respects, it is the same type of tunnel discovered before and during Operation Protective Edge – reinforced walls, digging pathways, branches, and inner depth.

The IDF did not discover weapons inside the tunnel and Hamas reportedly realized its tunnel was discovered at about the same time the IDF found the tunnel opening in Israeli territory. Yet Hamas did not immediately use the tunnel to carry out an attack before the IDF could quickly react, further indicating that the tunnel is part of Hamas’s preparations for a future battle and was not meant for an imminent terrorist attack.

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