TEL AVIV – Hamas digs more than six miles of tunnels leading into Israel each month, a problem for which there is no perfect solution, Israeli officials said Wednesday.
The remarks come on the heels of a heated debate among politicians and bereaved Israeli families over whether Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu properly dealt with the Hamas tunnel threat before and during the 2014 war in Gaza.
“We have no perfect solution” to the threat, the officials were quoted by Israel’s Channel 2 as saying, “and neither does any other country.”
Hamas has been heavily engaged in expanding its tunnel network, with reports emerging earlier this year that 1,000 Hamas operatives were working on a central underground artery breaching deep into Israeli territory.
In April and May, Israel located and destroyed two Hamas attack tunnels that ran into Israeli territory.
During Israel’s 50-day war with Gaza in the summer of 2014, at least 34 tunnels – some of which were used by Hamas terrorists to infiltrate Israel – were destroyed by the IDF.
After the war, around NIS 1 billion (approximately $250 million) was invested by Israel into developing a tunnel detection system.
Education Minister and Jewish Home chief Naftali Bennett charged Netanyahu with not learning from mistakes in the lead-up to the war.
“Every platoon leader draws conclusions at the end of an exercise in order to prevent future mistakes and to improve,” Bennett, who heads the right-wing Jewish Home party, wrote on Twitter. “What is true for an infantry division is doubly true for the diplomatic-security leadership of the State of Israel.”
“Bennett’s comments sound nice. It’s a shame it’s a total lie,” an unnamed Likud official said.