Netanyahu rejects claims that Israeli government ignored Hamas tunnel threat



An Israel Defense Forces soldier overlooks an uncovered Hamas terror tunnel during Operation Protective Edge in 2014. Credit: IDF.

(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to “The claim that there was never any discussion about [Hamas terror] tunnels before Operation Protective Edge is the opposite of the truth,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday, following the publication of a letter in which Israeli parents who lost their sons in the 2014 Gaza war demanded an official state committee investigation into how the government prepared for the operation and handled the operation itself.

In a meeting with military reporters, Netanyahu said he directed the Israel Defense Forces to find operational solutions to locate and destroy enemy tunnels and that the Defense Ministry convened numerous meetings on the subject. Despite claims to the contrary by some members of the cabinet, the issue of how to deal with the terror tunnels was raised in eight different cabinet meetings that were held between January 2013 to June 2014. In addition, Netanyahu discussed the subject with army commanders during his visits to IDF bases, and directed the military to find a way to detect the tunnels and remove them.

The letter, signed by the bereaved families of soldiers killed in the Gaza operation, called for “an external and independent” committee to investigate all the events of the war.

Posted on July 26, 2016 .