Ein Gedi Botanic Garden

Ein Gedi Botanic Garden
Seek the serenity of a Judean Desert sky in Autumn at the Ein Gedi Botanic Garden

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Hamas Terrorists Tunneling Their Way to 'Glory'

July 22, 2014 - Several years ago, an Al Jazeera journalist did a feature on the 'Marhabetuna' tunneling unit of the Izz a-Din al-Qassam military wing of the Hamas terrorist organization, 'exposing for the first time ever' detailed visuals of the group's underground operations. 

The piece, originally filmed in 2009, has been resurrected in light of the current conflict and the group's use of those tunnels in its guerrilla warfare against Israel.


The greatest advantage of the tunnels, he points out, is that "they will help members of the resistance in Gaza to carry out missions and attacks far away from the danger of Israeli air strikes. The tunnels have served as a powerful weapon," he adds, noting they were used in 2006 during the kidnapping of then-IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, "and to fire rockets on Tel Aviv and other Israeli cities during the most recent war in Gaza."

The tunnels were also used during Operation Pillar of Defense, he reported, showing images of missiles being fired from concealed rocket launches inside the earth. 

Yesterday, seven IDF soldiers from the Golani Brigade died and two others were badly wounded while preventing a massacre at two kibbutzim near the Gaza border just after dawn. An eighth soldier miraculously survived unharmed. (A number of others died in action inside Gaza, most from the Golani Brigade.)

An IAF pilot spotted two squads of Hamas terrorists erupting from two separate tunnels at a spot along the border between the two kibbutzim. But they hesitated to fire upon them, because all were dressed in IDF uniforms, right down to the regulation footwear. 

An IDF ground force led by the Gefen Battalion engaged the terrorists instead, who fired at troops in two military vehicles. The lead vehicle, which carried a senior officer and several others, sustained a direct hit by an anti-tank missile. All four men died instantly. Soldiers poured out of an Israeli APC (armored personnel carrier). The Hamas operatives were heavily armed; they fired a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) at the soldiers and then a second anti-tank missile at the APC. 

The lone soldier who stayed behind in the APC somehow managed to escape at the very last instant, racing away as the vehicle was hit and exploded in flames.

Once a definite identification was made and pilots were able to confirm the difference between their own men and the terrorists, the IAF launched an air strike to prevent the terrorists from escaping into a nearby tunnel. Israeli missile fire combined with gunfire from ground forces eventually eliminated all 10 terrorists in the savage and bloody battle.

There have been many so far in this war, quite a few caused by terrorists emerging from tunnels in Israeli territory. But one particularly savage battle took place inside Gaza, in the neighborhood of Sejaiya, in Gaza City. That one was due to Hamas placement of concealed rocket launchers under numerous civilian buildings, including mosques, schools, private homes and children's playgrounds. 

Hamas orders to Gaza residents to remain in those places as human shields in order to deter Israeli soldiers from attacking the launchers and the terrorists didn't work this time, as upsetting as it was to the soldiers forced to fire. The civilians were warned three days in advance, with flyers dropped on their neighborhood, with phone calls to their homes and via SMS text messages transmitted to their cell phones. All messages conveyed the same warning: "Please leave the area because Israel is going to attack and we would like you to be safe and out of harm's way." The residents know where to go and how to get there. That information is conveyed to them; UNRWA schools are neutral ground as they are well aware.

Actually, NOT so neutral these days: 20 missiles were "discovered" by international staff at an UNRWA school accidentally during a routine inspection of the facility in the town of Rafah, on the Gaza border with Egypt. 

UNRWA -- the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, funded with tax dollars from the United States, among other nations -- promptly handed the missiles over to the Hamas terrorist organization.

Not so neutral after all and probably a war crime, committed by the very entity that sets the standard.

So much for unity of nations.  Unity against Israel, I guess.

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