Look Inside Of The Palestinian Tunnels Israel Is Bombing (Videos)

What are these tunnels run under Israel  – the supposed reason for invading Gaza?  One kibbutz (communal settlement) kept hearing scratching only to find that a tunnel from Gaza opening up right at its doorstep.  The tunnels bring people, weapons and goods into and out of the 139-square-mile slice of land blocked by Israel and Egypt. Some of the tunnels are so large, a person could and does drive a car through them.

The terrorist insurgents and Israel’s political blockades have brought interstate transportation nearly to a halt.  Given no other alternative, Gaza developed an intricate web of tunnels beginning in the 1980’s.

In this current incursion, Israel says it has discovered 46 entrances to 14 different tunnels.

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These tunnels are well reinforced by concrete, so naturally the Palestinians have a high demand for concrete and cement. In an effort to restrict tunnel-building, Israel has severely limited the import of these two items to “all but international organizations.” Of course this hinders the building industry, thus hampering the economy of Gaza.

Israel insists that demolishing the tunnels, some as deep as 118 feet, with excavators and air strikes, is the primary reason for its ground operation.

The IDF reported three cross-border incidents on Saturday. The most serious involved 12 Palestinian militants disguised in Israeli uniforms who emerged from a tunnel in Israel to fire an anti-tank missile at Israeli troops, killing two and injuring several others.

Gilad Erdan right-wing minister of communications visited wounded soldiers in the hospital and said,

“Israel must not agree to any proposal for a cease-fire until the tunnels are eliminated.”

Egyptian administrations have tolerated the tunnels that run into their country from Gaza until recently. These tunnels are a pipeline to water, food, fuel and other products necessary to Gaza’s survival, 

Hundreds of millions of dollars worth of smuggled goods crossed the border this way at the peak of the tunnels’ operations.

Unfortunately weapons also flow beneath the surface making the tunnels militarily significant. Palestinian Islamist groups, including Hamas, have smuggled “materials to build rockets that the groups have launched against Israeli cities.” The militants also use the tunnels to launch attacks,

…including a 2006 raid that resulted in the capture of the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, whose five-year captivity ended with a high-profile prisoner swap.

Egypt began clamping down on Palestinian tunnels after Mohammed al-Morsi was overthrown last year. Morsi had been supported by a relative of Gaza’s Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood. The current Egyptian president in power, Abdel al-Sisi, sees closing the tunnels as part of its strategy to “put down Islamist group.”

One method the Israeli use to decimate the tunnels is flooding. The Egyptian administration ordered the tunnels to be flooded in 2007 when

Egypt’s then-president Mubarak was cracking down on tunnels in an effort to broker a broader peace deal between Israel and Palestinian groups.

Now the Palestinian Islamists have no confidence in the current Egyptian government to “play the peace broker role” between Gaza and Israel. The international community has issued “warnings and requests for restraint during this campaign.” But without a viable mediator few are confident of the conflict ending well for the Palestinians.

The Arab League and the U.S. joined Abbas backing Egypt’s proposal of “limiting Hamas and other armed groups’ buildup in the Gaza Strip,” Shlomo Brom, director of the program on Israeli-Palestinian relations at Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies said that,

“But the fact of the matter is that Israel has decided that its strategy is not a strategy of resolution of the conflict, but it is a strategy of managing the conflict.”