Hamas’ vigorous preparations to attack Israel have resulted in the death of two Hamas commanders who were killed when the terror tunnel they were working in, collapsed.
By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News
Hamas confirmed Wednesday morning that one of its terror tunnels collapsed on Tuesday in Gaza, killing two Hamas terrorists.
A Hamas spokesman named the two as Fuad Abu-Atiwey, 35, a field commander, and Ahmed Heydar a-Zahar, 23, probably a relative of Hamas leader Mahmoud a-Zahar.
There are reports that seven other terrorists were wounded in the tunnel dug near the Egyptian border.
This incident occurred just a week after seven Hamas terrorists were killed while working in another tunnel. Hamas sources say that the tunnel did not collapse on them, but that it was flooded by rain and the seven drowned.
Hamas has built a sophisticated network of tunnels that it has used to penetrate Israel to carry out terrorist attacks on civilians and soldiers. Israel destroyed most of the tunnels during the summer of 2014, but Hamas has since worked vigorously to rebuild the network, many times at the expense of Gazans, from whom they steal building materials which they use for military build-up.
“The resistance factions are in a state of ongoing preparation underground, above ground, on land and sea,” Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh boasted at a rally honoring the seven dead.
“East of Gaza City, heroes are digging through rock and building tunnels, and to the west they are experimenting with rockets every day. The resistance continues on its path of liberation of the land,” Haniyeh added.
Residents near the border with Gaza in southern Israel have expressed fears that Hamas is rebuilding its network of terror tunnels underneath their communities. They have claimed that they have been hearing Hamas digging tunnels underneath their homes, and have demanded form more proactive and aggressive Israeli action on this issue.
In response, the IDF has started to drill along the Gaza border in an effort to locate the tunnels, as well as installing advanced technological systems to identify possible tunnels.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Hamas on Sunday that any attack by them on Israel would be met with fierce force, even greater than that deployed by the IDF during Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014.
Hamas issued a counter threat on Tuesday, saying that it is fully prepared to give a crushing response to “any act of aggression” by Israel.
“Today, the Resistance (Hamas) is in a position to defend the Palestinian nation and will respond to any act of aggression with full preparedness,” Mushir al-Masri told the Iranian Tasnim News Agency.
“We are not seeking to wage a war,” the spokesman claimed. “However, we are always fully ready to defend the Palestinian nation.”
JNS.org contributed to this report.