Overnight Wednesday, yet another tunnel collapsed in Gaza, Palestinian news sources reported. The most recent collapse occurred in central Gaza City. There was no word on whether or not there were victims in the latest collapse.
Wednesday’s incident, as well as two other recent tunnel collapses in Gaza, has raised the question among Israelis about whether or not the hand of the IDF is involved in destroying the latest Hamas “weapon” to attack Israel – but for General Yoav Mordechai, the IDF Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, the answer can only be found Above. In an interview with Palestinian media, reported Army Radio, Mordechai answered the question posed on the matter by saying “only G-d knows the answer to that question.”
On Wednesday, Hamas announced that two top members of the terror organization had been killed in a tunnel collapse in central Gaza Tuesday night. One of them, 39-year-old Fuad A’asor, was a commander in Hamas’s military wing, while the other, Haider a-Zahar, was a close relative of Hamas head Mahmoud a-Zahar. It was the second time in less than two weeks that tunnel collapses have killed Hamas members; over the weekend, Hamas confirmed that a tunnel had collapsed with more than a dozen of its terrorists inside. Eight were killed, and the rest were rescued from the tunnel.
That Hamas has not given up on its use of tunnels to attack Israel was evident from comments by Hamas head Ismail Haniyeh, who said after the weekend funeral that “the men of Hamas are digging their way to the liberation of Yerushalayim,” and that “we continue to dig tunnels in east Gaza and conduct missile tests in west Gaza.”
Mordechai told the Palestinian news agency Ma’an that Israel would not tolerate this behavior. Hamas, he said, was using the building materials that Israel allowed into Gaza for the rebuilding of homes destroyed in Operation Protective Edge to construct “tunnels of death,” instead of helping the hapless civilian population. Since the conclusion of Protective Edge in August 2014, Israel has allowed 3.5 million tons of building materials into Gaza for rebuilding – but it was clear to everyone that much of that material was not being used for home building, because there were still many buildings that have not been fixed.
Mordechai also stressed that Hamas was taking advantage of Israel’s policy of allowing Gazans into Israel for medical treatment and family visits to smuggle weapons and terrorists into Israel for attacks. This, too, he said, Israel intended to bring to an end.
Mordechai recommended that Arabs in Gaza stay away from the tunnels if they valued their lives, “especially in light of the events of recent days.”