(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) A Hamas operative was reportedly killed in Gaza on Monday in the third deadly tunnel collapse to occur in the coastal enclave in less than two weeks. According to Palestinian sources, the tunnel was located under the border with Egypt and collapsed due to flooding caused by the Egyptian military.
According to other sources, the collapse was caused by dirt ramparts being built by the Egyptian military along the border with Gaza.
Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) recommended during a recent cabinet meeting that Israel carry out a military operation to combat Hamas’s underground tunnel threat instead of waiting for the next round of hostilities with the Palestinian terrorist group.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon rejected the idea. A statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office said, “We do not comment on cabinet discussions in general and on the IDF’s operational plans in particular.”
A senior Hamas official warned last week that the group’s effort to rebuild its terror tunnel network—which Israel destroyed in 2014 during Operation Protective Edge—is advancing rapidly.
“Israeli technology will not be able to stop the resistance as long as Hamas exists,” Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar told Oman-based Alwatan News. “Even if Israel is able to uncover a tunnel, or two, or 10, they [the tunnels] run deep under Israel, beyond Gaza, into 1948 territory.”