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WATCH: Here’s why Israel says it wants to destroy Hamas tunnels – National

Posted on 23/06/2019 | in 杭州龙凤 | by

Watch above: A video released Tuesday appears to show Hamas militants emerging from a tunnel into Israel and carrying out a deadly attack at a military border post. Please note: This video has been edited to remove footage appearing to show the killing of an Israeli soldier.

Israeli assaults on the Gaza Strip have killed more than 1,300 people in the past 23 days. But the government, while insisting it makes every effort to limit civilian deaths, puts the blame for the loss of Palestinian lives on Hamas.

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The Israelis accuse Hamas of putting civilian lives at risk, by firing rockets from populated areas, encouraging people to act as human shields and using civilian facilities to store artillery—the rockets Hamas hides in its network of underground tunnels.

READ MORE: Dozens killed, hundreds wounded in Israeli strikes on Gaza market, UN school

The tunnels, most of which connected the Gaza Strip with Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, have been a lifeline for Gazans to get much needed goods — such as food, fuel, building supplies and even cars — that aren’t easily accessible because of the seven-year-old Israeli blockade.

But they ultimately keep Hamas alive, allowing the faction — designated as a terrorist organization in Israel, the U.S., Canada and several other countries — to earn money off goods as well as to build its arsenal.

READ MORE: How much will it cost and how long will it take to rebuild Gaza?

The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) refers to the passages as an “underground terror network” to attack Israeli military installations (which it has) and possibly kidnap Israeli soldiers or even civilians.

The Israeli government’s security cabinet on Wednesday ordered the IDF to continue its ground operations until the tunnels are destroyed, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Hamas not only uses the tunnels to conceal rockets and sneak in materials to build them, it uses the them to infiltrate Israeli territory.

The tunnels are “a new strategy in confronting the occupation and in the conflict with the enemy from underground and from above the ground,” National Geographic quoted former Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya saying.

READ MORE: Gaza analysis: Israel exit scenarios begin to take shape

Five IDF soldiers died Monday when members of Hamas’ armed wing, the al-Qassam Brigades, used one such tunnel to cross into Kibbutz Nahal Oz and attacked an Israeli border post.

Al-Qassam Brigades purportedly captured the infiltration, and seemingly the killing of one Israeli soldier, on video.

The video reportedly aired on the Hamas-run al-Aqsa television network Tuesday night.

The video hasn’t been independently verified, but it is consistent with details of the attack and the IDF confirmed the five soldiers were killed at Nahal Oz.

The IDF also posted, on 桑拿会所, a graphic showing how tunnels connect to Nahal Oz to Shujaiya —the site of one of Israel’s most destructive and deadly assaults in its 23-day offensive against Hamas and other militant organizations in the Gaza Strip.

Since the start of the Israeli ground offensive on July 17, following a similar infiltration — there have been at least four incidents since the beginning of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge — the IDF claims to have uncovered and destroyed more than 30 tunnels inside the Gaza Strip and, in the process, discovered weapons, ammunition, communication devices and IDF uniforms.

READ MORE: Hamas militants wearing Israeli military uniforms killed soldiers: IDF

Egypt, whose current government is no friend to Hamas, has also destroyed dozens of tunnels in the past weeks. But in the nearly 13 months since the Egyptian military toppled the government of Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood —an ally and forefather to Hamas — Egypt claims to have destroyed more than 1,600 tunnels.

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