Eighteen months after the last Israel-Hamas war, the Islamist terror group is believed to have rebuilt much of its cross-border tunnel infrastructure, with almost as many terror tunnels reaching under the Gaza border into Israel as before the summer 2014 conflict, Haaretz reported on Tuesday.
“Hamas is investing considerable effort and immense amounts of money in the tunnel project,” the report said. “The reasonable assessment is that the number of tunnels that extend beneath the border (into Israel) is now close to the number prior to (2014’s) Operation Protective Edge.”
The Israel Defense Forces said it destroyed more than 30 Hamas terror tunnels during the 50-day conflict, about one-third of which extended beneath the Gaza border into Israel, and several of which were used to stage attacks.
Israeli security officials do not believe that Hamas is currently seeking another major round of conflict with Israel in and around Gaza. But the Shin Bet and Israeli security forces have recently exposed several advanced Hamas efforts to carry out major acts of terrorism from the West Bank, including the kidnapping and killing of Israelis. In May 2014, the killing and kidnapping of three Israeli teens in the West Bank set in progress a sequence of events that led to that summer’s conflict, and the possibility of a similar sequence of events is not being discounted, the Haaretz report indicated. Read more at Times of Israel.