TEL AVIV – When it comes to the possibility of Israel taking defensive military action to destroy Hamas’s system of newly constructed and refurbished terror tunnels, it is not a question of “if” but “when,” posited Breitbart‘s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter Aaron Klein.
Klein was speaking during his weekly segment on John Batchelor’s popular national radio show.
Click below to listen to Klein’s full segment on Batchelor’s program.
Hamas has to understand that there’s a debate within the IDF right now that should a tunnel be discovered publically coming from Gaza into a Jewish community, into an Israeli community, that is a red line that clearly the Israeli Defense Forces and Bibi will not (tolerate).”
In recent weeks, there have been multiple reports of Hamas tunnels collapsing while the terrorist group was reportedly working to refurbish their underground system.
Ismail Haniyeh, the movement’s former prime minister, vowed last month to continue building tunnels to attack the Jewish state.
“The Hamas military wing will continue with its preparations both underground and above ground,” Haniyeh declared. “On land and at sea, we will not stop until the liberation of the holy places [in Jerusalem].”
Gaza-based Hamas leader Zahar boasted that Hamas tunnels “reach deep into the territory occupied in 1948. … The [tunnels] reach [further] than Gaza.”
In his segment with Batchelor, Klein referenced a Breitbart Jerusalem report that Hamas, utilizing critical Iranian funds, has pressed on with completing the restoration of its network of tunnels, including those reaching into Israeli territory, according to a top Hamas diplomatic source.
“The military wing has ensured the preparedness of our tunnels some time ahead of schedule,” the Hamas source said.
Breitbart Jerusalem also reported that Hamas is in the process of building a sophisticated network of tunnels beneath the Gaza Strip, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the issue.
The tunnel infrastructure mirrors the network built by Hezbollah in Lebanon. The Iran-sponsored militia is known to have dug a vast underground tunnel complex replete with war rooms, internal communication lines, ventilation systems, and even missile silos.
Israel destroyed a significant portion of Hamas’ previous tunnel system during Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014.
Amid reports of fresh Hamas tunneling, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to hit the Hamas infrastructure in the Gaza Strip harder than during the 2014 war, which started after Hamas launched multiple rockets into Israeli territory.
“In the event we are attacked from tunnels in the Gaza Strip, we will act very forcefully against Hamas, and with much more force than Operation Protective Edge,” Netanyahu said at a January 31 security cabinet meeting.