October 19, 2014 A reporter for Al-Resalah joined a team of tunnel diggers on the Gaza Strip border with Israel, but was not allowed to enter the tunnel for fear that it would collapse. The diggers, whom he described as ‘bees in a hive,’ said they were motivated by the belief that ‘every inch they dig helps spill the blood of an Israeli soldier or kidnap one.’
The diggers assembled at the entrance to the tunnel at sunset, and told the reporter that breathing was difficult once underground. ‘We thank God for making us soldiers specializing in tunnel digging,’ one operative told the daily. ‘True, the work is difficult, but we remember our reward with God and it becomes easier.’
Israel launched a ground incursion in the Gaza Strip on July 17, nine days into Operation Protective Edge, in order to destroy dozens of tunnels dug for the purpose of kidnapping Israeli soldiers or carrying out a large-scale attacks against targets along the Israeli border. That same day, Israel intercepted 13 Hamas operatives who had entered the country through a tunnel, emerging near Kibbutz Sufa.”
By the end of the war in Gaza, on August 26, the IDF claimed to have destroyed all 31 known tunnels leading into Israel, but senior officers admitted that “one or two” tunnels could have gone undetected.
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In August, during the most recent Gaza conflict, the GMBDW reported on both the tunnel-digging unit of Hamas’ Al-Qassam Brigades and the high-technology supplied by Qatar for the tunnels.
For more on Hamas, go here.