A new video spread on Palestinian social media paints Gaza's "tunnel men" as legitimate partners in the fight for Palestine, claiming that their resistance to the "Israeli occupation" is not different from the resistance of most Gazans – they just do it underneath the ground, while most Palestinians fight Israel above ground.
The three-minute video, titled "Dig and Advance," presents people from different sectors of Gazan society, such as a journalist, a builder and a doctor, comparing their role in the Palestinian resistance to the role played by the "tunnel men."
The journalist claims that "here in Gaza, there are people who resist on the ground and others who resist underneath the ground. Here we have journalists who resist through words, voice and images."
A TV host speaking in the video claims that, "Like we dig to reach the people with our voice, they (the tunnel men) dig in order to get closer to al-Aksa." Two girls speaking later in the video say that they live in a refugee camp that hosts refugees from the 1948 War and they hope that the "tunnel men" will bring them back the territories they lost.
A Gazan doctor emphasizes the decisive role of the tunnel men in the Palestinian resistance. According to him, "While the medical teams are the first to save a citizen's life, their job is not more important than the job of the tunnel men who save the nation's life."
Salem Salameh, a Hamas member of the Legislative Council in the Gaza Strip, said that "while our goal is to implement our people's will, the tunnel men's goal is to bring honor to this nation."
While it is not known who stands behind the production of the video, it is clearly serving Hamas interests. Amid a massive campaign by the Palestinian Authority aimed at denigrating Hamas for its renewed tunnel- digging, such a video that paints tunnel men as a vital part of the Palestinian resistance ostensibly shows Gazans’ support for Hamas.