By David Daoud
Frustrated residents on Israel’s border with Gaza have reported hearing sounds of digging coming from under their houses, Israel’s Channel 2 said on Monday. According to the report, the locals are convinced that Hamas, the terror group that controls the coastal enclave, has returned to its construction of terror tunnels at full pace.
“Today, I sat on the couch in my living room, and felt everything shaking underneath me,” said a resident of one of the Kibbutzim bordering Gaza.
Increasing the frustration of residents is the response from the military. IDF officials who examined the matter rejected the claims made by the residents that Hamas was digging tunnels underneath their homes. Last weekend, IDF officials came to the area and conducted special testing on the ground, which showed no indications that tunnels were being dug into the area, or that anything unusual was occurring.
“I do not know whether to trust what the army says, or if there is even really a tunnel here. There is terrible uncertainty over this,” one resident said.
When the locals requested explanations from the army over the past week, the IDF’s Gaza Division Commander, Brig. Gen. Itay Virob, paid them a visit to discuss the matter. Virob told them that the IDF is doing all it can to protect the security of the residents.
Yet the army’s assurances were insufficient.
“I used to trust the army one hundred percent,” another resident said, “but today I know that if I am not for myself, no one will be for me.” Alluding to Israel’s summer war in Gaza in which dozens of Hamas tunnels were discovered, he added that, “they used to say we were hallucinating,” but, “today we know that’s not true. This is happening and it could hit us at any moment – we won’t be surprised at all.”
There are many among the border towns’ residents who have mentally prepared themselves for a terrorist attack that may occur at any moment via a tunnel. One of the residents said, “I’m already waiting for them to come out of the ground,” adding that, “we’re living here on high adrenaline all the time and we’re always on high alert. We’re afraid of every dog that comes near our bushes, and realize that anything is possible.”