Palestinians: Is Israel behind the collapse of Gaza terror tunnels?

Hamas is actively using building materials sent to the Gaza Strip as part of aid packages for terrorist activities, says the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories.

February 4, 2016 09:31
1 minute read.
Hamas tunnels

Hamas terror operatives in Gaza tunnel. (photo credit: REUTERS)

The underground terror tunnels Hamas is digging in the Gaza Strip will bring nothing but death and destruction to the citizens of the Palestinian enclave, Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), Major General Yoav Mordechai, told the Palestinian Ma'an News Agency on Thursday.

Maj.-Gen. Mordechai said that the Hamas "tunnels of death" are being dug at the expense of the Gazan populations.

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"The tunnels that Hamas is digging will bring disaster to the Gaza Strip, they are tunnels of death," Mordechai said to Ma'an.

According to Modechai, Hamas is actively using building materials sent to the Gaza Strip as part of aid packages for the use of terrorist activities instead of using them per a UN-brokered agreement on the construction and rehabilitation of destroyed houses belonging to Gazan citizens.

The COGAT stated that 3.5 million tons of building material were transferred to Gaza for reconstruction and suggested to the Strip's citizens to distance themselves from the tunnel construction especially following the collapse of several tunnels over the past week.

When asked whether or not Israel has had a hand in the collapse of the terror tunnels in recent weeks, Mordechai responded saying "God only knows."

On Wednesday evening, a tunnel collapsed tunnel in Gaza's Zeitoun area. The incident was the third time in recent weeks that an underground passageway has collapsed. 

Following the incident, Hamas blocked off the area around the tunnel and was making sure that radio stations were not reporting details of the incident.

Also on Wednesday, Hamas officials confirmed the death of at least two of its operatives in a separate tunnel collapse.

Eight others were reported missing after the underground passageway caved in, according to Hamas military wing, the Izzadin al-Kassam Brigades.

Last week, seven Hamas men were killed when a tunnel collapsed close to Gaza's eastern border with Israel.

Hamas said the collapse occurred as a result of heavy rain and it took two days to find the bodies and announce the deaths. Mosques across the Palestinian enclave mourned those killed, calling them “Martyrs of the Preparation,” a reference to their work digging tunnels used to attack Israel.  

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