The fact that Hamas has not responded to the IDF’s demolition of a terror tunnel late Sunday is evidence that Israel’s policy of deterrence works, a senior IDF official said Monday night. IDF Gen. (Res.) Kobi Heller told residents of Gaza border communities that Hamas was not interested in encouraging a confrontation with Israel right now.
“The fact that Hamas has not fired rockets or undertaken another attack after we destroyed the tunnel shows that deterrence works,” Heller said. “Deterrence can be defined by a lack of action on their side versus action on our side.”
The tunnel destroyed by the IDF overnight Sunday was positioned in southern Gaza, near the Kerem Shalom crossing where the borders of Israel, Gaza, and Sinai meet.
The IDF said in a statement that it was possible that the tunnel would have been extended into the direction of Sinai, allowing Gaza terrorists to send men and material to Sinai.
On the Israeli side, the exit of the tunnel was adjacent to the Kerem Shalom crossing, as well as to its communications center, and a natural gas installation.Officials said they believed the tunnel may have been intended to enable a Hamas takeover of the crossing. Unique about this tunnel, the IDF said, is that “it clearly was not a tunnel for smuggling merchandise, but specifically made for attacks.”
Overnight Sunday, security officials said they arrested 17 wanted security suspects in other areas in Judea and Samaria. The suspects were wanted for participating in rioting and throwing stones and firebombs that endangered Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers. Several of the suspects were also charged with belonging to Hamas. All were being questioned on their activities by security forces.