The aftermath of a controlled explosion of a terror tunnel into Israel from Gaza looked like a mammoth counterterrorist bombing, but no one in the Gaza Belt area is breathing easier because who knows how many other tunnels have not been discovered?
The IDF revealed on Tuesday that the tunnel, containing several barrels of explosives, reached Israel from central Gaza, near what used to be Gush Katif before the Sharon government expelled all Jews from Gaza and then withdrew all soldiers. Hamas immediately demolished remaining greenhouses and turned the ground into training camps for terrorists.
Last week, another tunnel was discovered reaching Kibbutz Ein HaShlosha, but it has not yet been destroyed.
The tunnel that was blown up, as seen in the video below, was built with 500 tons of cement arches and was “extremely advanced and well prepared,” said Gaza commander Brig. Gen. Michael Edelstein.
The government woke up after the discovery of the second tunnel and decided that maybe it was not such a brilliant idea to allow building materials, such as cement, to enter Gaza. Maybe, just maybe, Hamas and other terrorist organizations will use the cement for non-peaceful purposes.
If Israel was under pressure from the United States, as usual, to ease restrictions on what can enter Gaza, it is just another example of the U.S. government – and it was true under Bush just as it is true under Obama – acting as authority for Israeli security without taking any responsibility.
If the terrorists had succeeded, God Forbid, in blowing up a few soldiers and a Jewish town, well, that’s the price of peaceful hallucinations in Foggy Bottom.
The IDF knows there still are dozens, if not hundreds, of terrorists’ tunnels remaining in Gaza,. It knows the location of some of them because after every rocket attack or mortar shelling on Israel, the Air Force immediately bombs a “weapons storehouse” or a “terror tunnel.”
Gen. Edelstein told reporters, “Yes. There are [more tunnels]. We are looking after them and we will do what we need to do in order to meet those threats — either here or in the Gaza Strip.”
That is what he said, but that is not the way the IDF has acted in the past. The government and military’s attitude to terror tunnels reflects Western thinking of dealing with terrorist organizations as if they were run by the State Dept., which enjoys talking to itself.
The latest tunnel that was discovered will be blown up because it was obviously a clear and present danger to Israelis, but no one the Defense Ministry has ever explained why there are no orders to the IDF to blow up all of the other tunnels that are known to exist. If the IDF were to be too aggressive, it might upset the United Nations.
Gen. Edelstein tried to reassure Gaza Belt Jews by saying that the military considered the construction of the tunnel an “extreme violation” of the ceasefire following the Pillar of defense counter terrorist operation last year.
It is nice of the military to consider it a “violation.” Maybe it will complain to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry? Maybe it will complain to the United Nations?
Even better, or worse, maybe it will complain to Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas?
Jews in southern Israel have heard the refrain “The IDF will do whatever necessary to defend the citizens of Israel” so often that it does not even go in one ear anymore.
About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.
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