IDF: Hamas Shifting Focus to Defense Terror Tunnels

West Bank terrorist

The Times of Israel reports: Hamas appears to be changing its tunnel strategy, shifting from a focus on border-crossing attack routes to more internal defense structures, as Israel steps up work on its underground barrier surrounding the Gaza Strip, according to IDF assessments on Wednesday.

The terrorist organization used its network of cross-border tunnels most extensively during the 2014 Gaza war, sending fighters through them into Israel to attack nearby soldiers. In 2006, one such tunnel was used to kidnap IDF soldier Gilad Shalit into Gaza, where he was held captive for five years, before being released as part of a hotly contested prisoner exchange, in which over 1,000 Palestinian terrorists were also set free.

In July 2014, Israel launched Operation Protective Edge in response to rocket fire from Gaza. During the 50-day campaign, the IDF destroyed some 14 tunnels that entered Israeli territory, along with 18 internal tunnels, and depleted Hamas’s weapons stores.

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