The Israeli military this week discovered an 18th cross-border tunnel from the Gaza Strip into Israel.
The tunnel was discovered during construction of an underground barrier designed to prevent such infiltrations. After the last war with Gaza in 2014, Israel discovered 17 tunnels dug by Palestinians into Israel. Construction of an underground wall was soon after approved by the government.
One day after the tunnel discovery this week Hamas held an impromptu and highly unusual military exercise in the Gaza Strip to check the preparedness of Hamas’ and other groups’ rogue fighters. During the drill, the terror groups simulated the capture of IDF special forces soldiers.
“Since the end of the (2014) campaign, we have not stopped our preparations or our battle of wills with Israel,” Hamas said in a statement. “This was seen in the strength of the resistance in Khan Yunis, whose ramifications still shake the foundations of Israel’s defense establishment and army.”
“The capabilities that the resistance still retains (and have not yet been revealed) are very powerful.”
The IDF said on Tuesday that the latest tunnel discovered was old and hasn’t been in use in recent years. During Operation Protective Edge in 2014 Hamas used its tunnel network to send armed men into Israel to kidnap Israeli soldiers and to move operatives and munitions within the Gaza Strip.
According to the military, the underground wall should be done by the end of the year as hundreds of people, wearing flak jackets and under military guard against attack from Gaza terror groups, are at work on the project.
And it can’t come quickly enough. A recent surgery showed that nearly half of all Palestinians living in Gaza, 43.6 percent, believe that armed conflict is the best way to end the “occupation,” according to a report released Monday by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR).