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Were Gaza tunnels built to harm Israeli civilians?

For weeks we’ve been hearing about the threat the Gaza tunnels pose to Israeli civilians. In reality, every tunnel so far has been used against military targets alone.

By Emanual Yelin (translated by Sinewave)

The existence of the tunnels in Gaza was well-known to Israel’s Defense Ministry, although their scope was only revealed to the general public in the latest round of fighting. The tunnels were described as a strategic threat against Israeli civilians. Tunnel openings, so we were told, were found near dining halls and kindergartens, and the fighting we were ostensibly dragged into prevented a terrible disaster in the form of mass terrorist attacks against Gaza-perimeter communities. The prime minister and the media declared unilaterally that Israeli civilians are the targets. The fact that, time after time, victims of tunnel attacks were soldiers was painted as coincidental. Was it? We must ask ourselves some questions on the matter.

An IDF soldier walks through the tunnel the IDF uncovered underneath the Gaza-Israel border earlier this week. (Photo: IDF Spokesperson)

An IDF soldier walks through the tunnel the IDF uncovered underneath the Gaza-Israel border earlier this week. (Photo: IDF Spokesperson)

Was there a plan to simultaneously send 200 terrorists from dozens of tunnels to six Israeli towns on the border of Gaza on Jewish New Year? Was it only prevented by the kidnapping of the three Israeli youths and Operation Protective Edge, as Ariel Kahane claimed in his article on NRG [Hebrew]?

No. Not only does this story make no sense – if Hamas had such a genius plan, why didn’t they hold off on shooting rockets for another three months? Eventually the “plot” was revealed to be a rumor that gained traction in the ultra-Orthodox press that got some traction, with intelligence personnel denying the claim [Hebrew]. If such a horrific story was realized, it would have been a terrible disaster. But contrary to the nonsense Avri Gilad wrote in his Facebook post [Hebrew], with a similar story that got hundreds of thousands of views, Israel did not “face its first threat to its existence since the 1948 war” much like the U.S. did not face a threat to its existence on 9/11.

Was Benjamin Netanyahu right in his national address when he said “we will not end the mission, we will not end the operation, without neutralizing the tunnels that exist solely to annihilate our civilians and to kill our children?”

No. It is certain that this is not their sole purpose, and probably not their primary purpose, either. We’ve already seen six instances in which Hamas was able to use the tunnels against Israel. Once when Gilad Shalit was captured, and the rest during the current operation. In all instances, Hamas’ target were IDF soldiers, not the communities.

Take the case of the infiltration near Nir-Am. Two squads came out of the earth inside Israeli territory wearing IDF uniforms. When IDF forces arrived, the militants shot at them and killed four of the soldiers. Afterwards the militants tried to go back to Gaza through the tunnels and most of them were killed. There were no signs that they intended to make it to one of the communities. Quite the contrary. The impression made by a video released the IDF Spokesperson is that they were not trying to advance at all but were rather organizing an ambush for IDF soldiers. And again, after the clash they tried to go back to Gaza, not to reach the community.

All this did not keep the Southern Command major general from speaking confidently [Hebrew] about the terrorists who “threaten communities along the Gaza perimeter” and about “IDF forces that were a barrier between the terrorists and the communities.” It sounds nice, but the facts speak for themselves.

 

So what is the purpose of the tunnels?

Most likely to hurt IDF forces and capture soldiers. Little by little we are starting to hear military reporters saying this explicitly. Maybe not on Channel 2, but after militants infiltrated a pillbox near Nahal Oz, Channel 10’s defense correspondent Alon Ben-David explicitly said that “there is no doubt their goal is to hurt and capture soldiers – not civilians” [Hebrew]. A senior military source told Israel’s Army Radio that “all tunnels were aimed towards military targets and not Gaza-perimeter communities” [Hebrew]. Furthermore, in a voice recording by the leader of the Qassam Brigade, Mohammed Deif, he is heard saying: “we prefer to fight the soldiers of the enemy’s elite units and kill them, and not the civilians in the villages adjacent to Gaza.”

So we can be certain that the tunnels will not be used for terrorism against civilians in the kibbutzim along the barrier wall?

No. We must not become complacent. We cannot count on Hamas that their preferences will not revert back to murdering civilians, as they did countless times before, or simply that in the absence of a military target they will decide to go for “option B.” We must not take risks. Whenever a penetration is discovered, the IDF must treat it as if it may be an attempt to attack communities near the point of penetration, and instruct the residents to remain in their homes until it’s ensured that no terrorists are moving about. However, we must not conflate the necessary security measures with what is revealed after the incident. And in every case thus far it turned out that the goal was to hurt soldiers. Not communities and not civilians.

But if they didn’t want to hurt communities, why did they dig tunnels under dining halls and kindergartens inside those communities?

Here’s the thing: they didn’t. It turns out that there were no tunnels into the communities. The tunnel into the Kisufim dining hall? That was an old sewer line [Hebrew] mistakenly identified as a tunnel shaft.

Spokeswomen for two of the regional municipalities adjacent to Gaza published a letter to military reporters, in which they asked them to ensure accurate reporting and stop claiming that there were infiltrations into the communities: “the fact is that most of these incidents occur far from the community and, fortunately, not inside any civilian area. Reality is tough and scary enough as it is; we ask you to think of the residents as they sit in their locked homes and to stick to the facts. We are aware of the needs of both the IDF as well as journalists to illustrate the scope of the danger and the importance of uncovering a tunnel. But associating that with a name of a specific community only increases anxiety levels among residents and their immediate environment.

One of spokeswomen, who appeared on Israel’s educational channel, said that the tunnel which was ostensibly aimed at a kindergarten in Ein Hashlosha, reached about 2.5 kilometers from the community, and its exit shafts were near an IDF security path.

So where do the tunnels go?

Probably just a few hundred meters from the barrier wall and a few kilometers from the communities. It’s hard to find accurate data about where the exit shafts are. But in all five instances of infiltration, the militants emerged 200-400 meters away from the wall, as can be seen on the maps in the IDF Spokesperson videos. For example, the alleged penetration into Kisufim was 1.5 kilometers away from the community. And actually, the tunnel’s exit point is just as close to Kibbutz Sufa.

If the exit shaft is 200 meters from the wall, and the Ein Hashlosha houses closest to the wall are 3 kilometers away from it, the exit shaft cannot be 800 meters away, even if it sounds more dramatic for Channel 2’s Danny Kushmaro to end the article that way.

So it’s okay that Hamas is digging the tunnels?

Not at all! Digging a tunnel across borders is in itself a violation of sovereignty. And sending armed squads through them is an act of aggression, even if the target is military and not civilian.

So what are you going on and on about?

Because you need to tell the truth. Not fluff up the facts, not invent ridiculous horror scenarios, not talk with loaded slogans that include untrue statements, not cry “wolf.” For all of our concerns with Hasbara, we end up hurting the residents of the Gaza-perimeter communities, who develop unnecessary anxieties, while damaging our own credibility. And it’s not really necessary at all. Hamas’ face is ugly as it is even without photoshopping horns onto it.

Emanual Yelin is a native and resident of Be’er Sheva, and works in an educational institution in the Gaza perimeter region. Read this article in Hebrew on Local Call.

Related:
The ‘terror tunnels’: Another Israeli self-fulfilling prophecy
Not about tunnels: Israeli tanks take aim at central Gaza
From Iran to the tunnels: Do we really have to live this way?

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    COMMENTS

    1. CigarButNoNice

      The cute and cuddly people of Gaza would never hurt a fly.

      The “sons of apes and pigs,” however, may be a different matter. And even if there were no verbal announcements of intent (there are plenty, but linking to the sites laying them out would be RAAAAACIST, natch), it’s preferable to err on the side of caution. It’s better to assume the intent is a repeat of Beslan and be wrong than the other way round.

      Ask an Iraqi Christian or Yazidi for details. Contrary to the cleverly crafted “a national struggle for life on one’s land” slant that’s accepted uncritically here, the fact is the Muslim settlers in Judea and Samaria and Gaza want exactly what ISIS wants for their infidels.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ray

        What the hell does Islamic State have to do with any of this?

        Reply to Comment
      • Hilary Rost

        It is worth noting that there are (or were) Christians in Gaza as well as Muslims and agnostics, all of whom were equally targeted by Israel

        Maybe building tunnels is a natural thing to do if you are a prisoner in an open camp like Gaza. Maybe if Israel stopped blockading the place the tunnels would not be needed. If I was trapped there I would build a tunnel too.

        Reply to Comment
      • Felix Reichert

        Whoever compares Hamas and ISIS, is trivializing the violence of ISIS, and must be an islamophobe racist asshole.

        But to actually get to the point, to which we will surely not get an answer:

        “What the hell does Islamic State have to do with any of this?”

        Anything, Cigar? Anything?

        Will you answer that question, and ridicule yourself further that way? Or will you remain silent, and ridicule yourself even further?

        Your choice!

        Reply to Comment
        • CigarButNoNice

          @Ray:

          “What the hell does Islamic State have to do with any of this?”

          The goals of ISIS and Hamas—and other Islamic imperialist organizations such as Hezbollah and Al Qaeda—are one and the same, which is the subjugation of all non-Muslims:

          They wish to kill the men or, as a best-case scenario, let them live as sub-class citizens under Islam’s apartheid system; and they wish to take the women to be concubines and enrich themselves by looting the infidels’ cities. These goals are shared by all Islamic believers who take their religion seriously.

          @Felix Reichert:

          “Whoever compares Hamas and ISIS, is trivializing the violence of ISIS…”

          Sure thing, Felix. After all, Hamas only wants to kill Jews. How can anybody compare the two? /sarc

          “…and must be an islamophobe racist asshole.”

          You can bury your head in the sand as long as you like, but reality will catch up with you sooner or later. Reality doesn’t care about your phobias or being politically correct (and Islam isn’t even a race), nor will swear-words change it.

          I have answered the question and shown you to be the ignorant wishful-thinking appeasers of Islamic imperialism that you are. Glad to have been of service.

          Reply to Comment
          • Felix Reichert

            “The goals of ISIS and Hamas—and other Islamic imperialist organizations such as Hezbollah and Al Qaeda—are one and the same, which is the subjugation of all non-Muslims”

            Obvious bullshit. Like EVERY political analyst that has put more than 2 seconds into researching the topics will tell you. Hamas has almost nothing in common with ISIS.

            Yes, they are both regarded as Islamist organisations. That is where the similarities end.

            “They wish to kill the men or, as a best-case scenario, let them live as sub-class citizens under Islam’s apartheid system; and they wish to take the women to be concubines and enrich themselves by looting the infidels’ cities. These goals are shared by all Islamic believers who take their religion seriously.”

            Complete fucking bullshit, and racist bile.

            So you’re telling me that 99% of Muslims all over the world, that want to live in peace with their families, don’t take their religion seriously?

            Of course you are, the right-wing extremist, cultural-chauvinist and racist scumbag that you are.

            Just like every Jew that takes his religion wants to subjugate Muslims and other Goyim? Wants to supress and exploit them, as you can clearly see from the actions of the state of Israel?

            (Warning: satire.
            I’m equating the actions of a few extremist assholes with everyone that’s Jewish, just like Cigar is equating the actions of a few extremist assholes with everyone that’s Muslim)

            You can bury your head in the sand as long as you like, but reality will catch up with you sooner or later. Reality doesn’t care about your phobias or being politically incorrect.

            I have answered the question and shown you to be the ignorant wishful-thinking appeasers of Zionist imperialism that you are. Glad to have been of service.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ray

            I don’t recall Khaled Meshaal declaring himself Caliph, or Amir al-Muammin of all the world’s Muslims, or whatever, or of wanting to march on Rome and found an Islamic empire. I also don’t recall Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi running in elections, or expressing any willingness on behalf of Islamic State to take part in ceasefires or truces with the Iraqi government.

            As for your charge of “subjugating” people of other religions, I’ve found nothing out of the ordinary in terms of Hamas’ policy. Not that that’s a good thing (comparable to Saudi Arabia or Iran), but nothing on par with Islamic State’s policy of “pay jizya, leave, or die.” And no ethnic cleansing.

            I would also point out that Hamas is a homegrown nationalist/resistance movement, while ISIS is an al-Qaeda offshoot crammed with foreign fighters.

            Reply to Comment
          • Annie

            Ray or anyone who thinks Hamas is not exactly like ISIS, should see the video, “True intention of Hamas organization is to rule the world and lead the Islamic religion everywhere” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayzeX7kMj0Q

            Guess by the title you should have a good idea of the goal of hamas, a caliphate, taking over the world, Islam being the only law in the world.

            Mashal has said many times that after Israel he will go to Europe and then USA, so it is EXACTLY THE SAME AS ISIS.
            I won’t even mention the hamasnicks putting brown paper bags on those they decided to execute, exactly the same as ISIS puts blindfolds on those it decides to execute.
            HAMAS=ISIS ISIS=HAMAS

            Reply to Comment
    2. Pedro X

      In the second intifada Hamas hit soft targets, civilians as part of its war of terror. To think that Hamas only built tunnels to fight with soldiers, is extremely naive. Terror tunnels permit dual use against soldiers and civilians. When Hamas leaders talk about harvesting the skulls of Jews and killing them all, one would be best to take their threats seriously when they tunnel into Israeli territory.

      Reply to Comment
      • CigarButNoNice

        “Terror tunnels permit dual use against soldiers and civilians.”

        According to Hamas (and general Islamic imperialist) philosophy of warfare, there is no such distinction. Israeli Jewish civilians are soldiers, and Arab civilians too are soldiers (hence the acceptable and encouraged use of human shields).

        The writers of +972Mag, in what I could call a—gasp—Western colonialist attitude toward the Arab/Islamic Other, assume that those distinctions the Occidentals make in their warfare are made by all warring peoples everywhere. This is decidedly not so. Hamas, Hezbollah, ISIS and the rest have no use for the West’s distinctions in warfare.

        Reply to Comment
        • Felix Reichert

          As always, you are wrong, and just spewing racist Hasbara lies.

          As the article itself prooves:
          “Furthermore, in a voice recording by the leader of the Qassam Brigade, Mohammed Deif, he is heard saying: “we prefer to fight the soldiers of the enemy’s elite units and kill them, and not the civilians in the villages adjacent to Gaza.””

          So how exactly can the leader of the Al-Qassam-Brigades make that distinction, when according to your ridiculous, wrong and islamophobe claim “According to Hamas (and general Islamic imperialist) philosophy of warfare, there is no such distinction.”???

          Impatiently awaiting your answer.

          Reply to Comment
          • CigarButNoNice

            “So how exactly can the leader of the Al-Qassam-Brigades make that distinction,…”

            For Western Media consumption.

            Gosh, I can’t believe someone can be so naive!

            Reply to Comment
          • Felix Reichert

            And I can’t believe someone can be this ignorant.

            You have made a claim directly contradicted by the article. I have shown you your own ignorance by pointing out that contradiction.

            Glad to be of service.

            Reply to Comment
          • JDC

            “”We will not betray promises we made to God to continue the path of Jihad and resistance until the liberation of Palestine, all of Palestine,” Hamas said in a statement, in a clear reference to Israel as well as to the occupied West Bank.” Unfortunately it’s you who cannot read. Is this ambiguous language? You cannot separate the tunnels from this clearly stated objective. But I am sure you’ll have some smart assed answer.

            Reply to Comment
          • CigarButNoNice

            Oh, and by the way, Felix:

            Just a nickel’s worth of free advice. You can cut down on the keystrokes by omitting the word “racist” every time you feel like typing it. You see, I just ignore that word for the meaningless left-wing expletive that it is.

            You can also drop “hasbara” and “hasbarist” if you like. I ignore those space-fillers too.

            Reply to Comment
    3. Peter Crownfield

      Isn’t smuggling needed supplies into Gaza an important — perhaps the most important — reason for all the tunnels?

      Reply to Comment
      • Peter, tunnels exiting into Israel can’t really be used for smuggling. It would be impossible to sustain a smuggling line going through territory patrolled by the IDF. The sole purpose must be aggressive.

        The data presented in this piece supports the view that at present the Hamas military wing was honoring a civilian/soldier distinction. Honestly, though, there could come a point where that distinction collapses, given the pressures Gaza endures. So while the hysteria generated over the “civilian attack” tunnels is undeserved at present, Israeli policy could some day make that hysteria true assessment.

        Mistaking sewer lines for tunnels in itself is not terrible. But failing to announce the mistake at the same volume as the origin assertion allows some to paper over their errors–and that can lead to false military assessment in crisis. The IDF is a collection of careers, with all the potential jeopardy that implies. The same, probably to greater extent, is true of Hamas as well.

        Reply to Comment
        • assaf elron

          Honoring civilian\soldier distinction? Is that a serious argument? 15,000 rockets over the past 10 years towards purely civilian targets is an example of distinction in your eyes?

          Reply to Comment
          • The context, Assaf, is here the tunnels, not rockets. It is quite possible that whatever goes for Hamas strategic command could have separate policies on these; in fact, this must be true, given the grossly inaccurate targeting by rockets. Most likely, I think a tunnel use civilian/soldier distinction would collapse opportunistically; that is, it is more likely that civilians would be captured/killed by happened encounter rather than by premeditated plan. Even this bar, however, could fail over time. Gaza is too desperate a place for not some to ultimately try.

            As to the civilian/soldier distinction generally, a soldier citizenry, which is what Israel is for Jews but not its Arab citizens, will naturally find it difficult to maintain the distinction. I suspect, in Gaza, the distinction is trifold at least: Hamas, those conscripted by events into national resistance, and the hapless great majority who have nowhere to flee.

            Reply to Comment
    4. Carol

      The tunnels are NOT illegal, under UN 194, Palestinians have the right of return, most of Gazan are from Israel, the tunnels were there to implement the ROR

      That said, what’s obvious is that the tunnels were there for years, without any incident, they probably served as a lifeline during the siege.

      Reply to Comment
      • JDC

        Article 11 of the resolution reads:

        (The General Assembly) Resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible.

        This is the text of the UN Resolution. As usual you display the anti-Israel selective reading disease to support your position. It is not clear to me that anyone has agreed to live at peace with their neighbors. What is the practicable time? Your beloved Hamas has stated quite the opposite. No Peace. PLO, no peace. Islamic Jihad, no piece.At the same time the issue of equitable compensation is not one to be determined alone by the so called Palestinians. Perhaps Israel should exercise it’s right of return to Gaza as it is willing to live in peace with it’s neighbor Hamas the PLO can compensate Israelis for the assets left behind. What works for one works for the other. But clearly not in your thinking. Or is it thinking?

        David Ben-Gurion, the first Prime Minister of Israel, insisted in an interview with the members of the Conciliation’s Commission that as long as Israel could not count on the dedication of any Arab refugees to remain “at peace with their neighbors” – a consequence, he contended, of the Arab states’ unwillingness to remain at peace with the state of Israel – resettlement was not an obligation for his country.

        Perhaps you should take the time to read before you write as you have an apparent inability to see the facts.

        Reply to Comment
    5. Tomer

      Yes, Carol.

      The tunnels were probably used by the Islamofascists to deliver pizzas to the kibbutzim!!

      Reply to Comment
      • JDC

        I think it is logical to assume that Hamas building tunnels into Israel was because of the blockade as others have suggested. After all, that would allow them to go to malls, supermarkets and drug stores to purchase stuff for the residents of Gaza. And the real win is no customs or duty on the way back!. So for all those that say that the tunnels were only to attack soldiers or for some other purpose like shopping, going to movies, etc., I guess it’s really like the Windsor Tunnel between Canada and the United States. Do you think you can put a Starbucks franchise in there? How about two McDonald’s? One halal and the other kosher. After all,killing soldiers and shopping are both attributes of peace loving friendly people.

        Reply to Comment
    6. AMW

      I am so mad right now after reading this absolutely rediculous article. How stupid can one be to imagine these tunnels were built for anything other than to get at Israelis for the purpose of murder. Author, you should be so ashamed. But now that I look at some of the 972 articles I see what’s happening. By the way the holocaust didn’t happen either, right?

      Reply to Comment
      • Sean Mullin

        When did it happen? How stupid is believing in the existence of something that never happened. Its not like the Israeli government lies to it people then sends them to their deaths in the act of killing over 1500 civilians, some of whom were deliberately targeted and caught on camera, is it? But don’t worry about that, concentrate on an imaginary civilian threat from the completely made up ideology of ‘Islamofasism’. Hamas’ development since 1987 has not been assisted be Israeli government actions in any way btw.

        Reply to Comment
        • JDC

          Ah Sean, I wish I could live in Lala land like you. No fascist Islamists, no ISIS, no Syria with tens of thousands of deaths, no tribal wars in Libya. No children killed by the Taliban in Afghanistan. And Syria, that model state. Peace, harmony and tranquility in the Arab world. No Iranian threats to wipe Israel off the face of the map. These are all stories created by those world controlling Zionists through their puppets in the press. If I heard one word condemning Syria, one word condemning Saudi Arabia’s suppression of women, one word about Iran threatening to destroy Israel I might consider something you say. But you have no credibility. Your are just an empty vessel.

          Reply to Comment
      • Felix Reichert

        AMW:

        So you’re directly contradicting the statements of Israeli (and Jewish) analysts, military spokesmen, and officials?

        Reply to Comment
    7. othello

      I have, not once, heard anyone suggest that the tunnels were to threaten civilians.

      Reply to Comment
      • Felix Reichert

        You are seeingt the infographic above, which was posted on the official Facebook and Twitter accounts of both the IDF and Bibi Netanyahu?

        The infographic that directly and clearly suggests, that the tunnels were used to target civilians?

        Reply to Comment
    8. aaron

      It is clear to any sensible person that such things are written by people with vested interests,
      The article content is not even worthy of consideration, it’s just ridiculous …

      Reply to Comment
    9. Bunch of crazies

      Gosh, so many ad-homs.

      The author has a point.

      Hamas has a militia, but it is opposing an army that has total control of the air and limitless heavy artillery.

      The IDF also has a fence that surrounds the entire Gaza Strip.

      So combining those two results in a situation where the IDF can simply stand on “their” side of the fence while raining down death and destruction on Gaza.

      That is the military situation that Hamas faces, and it is obvious that Hamas has to find some way – any way – that allows its militants to get up close ‘n’ personal with those hitherto-safe IDF soldiers.

      And there is only one way to do that: build tunnels under the fence.

      The author is quite correct to point out that this is what Hamas are doing.

      Reply to Comment
      • JDC

        You are justifying that Hamas makes war on Israel. Well done. I guess you are another dove. The safe Israeli soldiers? I guess those firecrackers tossed at Israelis were inadvertently aimed at civilian populations. There have been three incursions by Israel into Gaza since Hamas took power. How many rockets have been fired into Israel? Hamas has not taken the war to the Israelis? You are just another one of those blind, one sided people who will only be satisfied by more spilling of blood, Israeli blood. Then you’ll be happy. If Hamas is so interested in preserving the rights of the Gaza population, why no peace gestures? If things are so bad why not give it a shot? Why do these thugs wander around with masks on their faces? So the Israelis can’t find them or the Gaza locals can’t? They are thugs with guns. Criminals. Not an army, just thugs. And they should be treated as criminals.

        Reply to Comment
    10. bar

      So as I understand this article, Hamas probably didn’t intend to use the tunnels to harm civilians.

      This premise raises a couple of interesting questions.

      1. The 3000 rockets were not intended to harm civilians either, right? I mean, if you don’t intend to harm civilians with the tunnels, you wouldn’t with rockets either. You’d be a fool to use one weapon on civilians and one on military targets when both could be used for either.

      2. Hamas’s history of targeting Israeli civilians is now a thing of the past? After all, they weren’t shy about blowing up Israeli civilians whenever they could just a few years ago. This article claims this policy is no longer driving Hamas. Instead, they only target soldiers.

      3. The author is hallucinating?

      Reply to Comment
      • Felix Reichert

        1. Nobody knows what the rockets are aiming for. Hamas doesn’t have high-precision weapoens like Israel.

        If they had, it is very reasonable to assume they’d fire 99% of them at military targets.

        2. Hamas is now an official political power, dependant on at least some Western support. That support would immediatly break away (along with support from many Muslim countries), if they’d attack any civilians through the tunnels.

        They do not avoid targeting civilians (as well as they can) because they are nice human beings. The aren’t targeting civilians (as well as they can) because it would hurt their strategic interests.

        Reply to Comment
        • GoBRZ

          Herr Reichert,
          I suggest you read the Hamas Charter (aka Hamas Covenant) which defines their guiding principles (!!!) since it was written in 1988. You can quibble over the distinction of civilian vs military targets as you have the luxury apparently to do so. I am quite sure, based on their writings, speeches and actions, Hamas makes no such distinction. To believe otherwise is either grossly naive, grossly ignorant or grossly anti-Semitic. These are the only choices…take your pick.

          In any case, you might make excuses for Hamas and its actions, but that doesn’t make you right.

          Reply to Comment
        • JDC

          No you know that Hamas would not corrupt the use of EU funds. Before you write, you should read the report on the EU procedures for monitoring the funds and the some of the issues even the EU raises. In many instances they are incapable of assuring what the money is used for. The funds should not be disbursed where it’s not for the intended US. Aaah, life as a terrorist (which is what Hamas members are. How conveniently that is glossed over.

          Reply to Comment
    11. Careena Bernstein

      How ridiculous!So they are saying Hamas the terror group are humanitarians looking out for civilians!!I am sorry but it is a load of bullshit with some or other hidden agenda

      Reply to Comment
    12. Mikiesailor

      The timeline alone exposes the BS promulgated by the Zionist hasbaristas. First, two Palsestinian teeenagers are shot by the Israelis during Nakba commemmorations. The Israelis come out and deny the children are dead, then when that is exposed as a lie, they pretend it never happened. Then the three Israeli teens are killed. Israel arrests over 500 people; house raids and village closures run rampant. Netanyahu promises to show evidence of Hamas involvement but never does. Overwhelmingly, the jailed are Hamas members or sympathizers innocent of any involvement with the Israeli teens. Then a Palestinian teem is burned to death after being kidnapped by settlers. By the way, has anyone ever figured out why the supposed Hamas members who allegedly killed those teens are still not found? Like maybe they were killed already, perhaps even before the teem’s diappearance? It does seem like the Israeli position is permeated with un- and half-truths. Why do the lies only compound with nobody actually looking for the truth but only the “truthiness” buttressing their own political position?

      Reply to Comment
      • Dale

        One was found and arrested and he admitted receiving funds from Hamas for the kidnapping

        Reply to Comment
        • Felix Reichert

          …is what the Israeli investigators are saying. Let’s wait for his public trial…

          Oh wait.

          Reply to Comment
      • Tomer

        I still believe my pet theory that the Islamofascists were delivering pizzas to the kibbutzim.

        In the same vain, ISIS were delivering garlic breads to the Yazuzis and Iraqi Christians but their mission was misunderstood.

        Similarly, the Muslim brotherhood in Egypt were actually protecting Coptic Churches & organizing Church Charities but their actions was misreported

        Reply to Comment
      • The two Pali teenagers shot at a Nakba demo (an Arab riot) were proven fakes via security camera outtakes viewable on you tube, Just can’t stop the lying..

        Reply to Comment
        • Jan

          Lee, you are the liar but you have been a liar for so long that you don’t know truth when it stares you in the face.

          From JTA.org comes this confirmation that you are a liar.

          JERUSALEM (JTA) — An autopsy performed on the exhumed body of a Palestinian teen shot by Israeli soldiers during a West Bank demonstration reportedly showed he was shot with live ammunition.
          The autopsy was performed Wednesday at the Palestinian Institute of Forensic Medicine in the West Bank by the chief Palestinian pathologist, according to reports. Two Israeli pathologists were present, as were observing pathologists from the United States and Denmark.

          I think that you might have been smart enough to find that out before you showed yourself to either be stupid or a deliberate liar.

          Reply to Comment
    13. Peter Hindrup

      ‘So it’s okay that Hamas is digging the tunnels?

      Not at all! Digging a tunnel across borders is in itself a violation of sovereignty. And sending armed squads through them is an act of aggression,’

      Er, what borders? The land surrounding occupied Palestine, The moving of Jews into the area is a war crime.

      If there is a a border, then it is back on the UN proposed partition lines, 1947/48, which were never going to be accepted in the referendum necessary to valid the proposal.

      The tunnels are obviously defensive — unless the Israelis attack/invade they are of no value. It takes an aggressive move on the part of Israel to bring them into play.

      Reply to Comment
    14. Jenny

      A courageous and very important article – thank you

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+972 is an independent, blog-based web magazine. It was launched in August 2010, resulting from a merger of a number of popular English-language blogs dealing with life and politics in Israel and Palestine.

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Illustrations: Eran Mendel