Sunday, May 8, 2016

MK: Hamas 'frustrated' over exposed terror tunnels - Tova Dvorin

by Tova Dvorin

Hamas's tunnels the last real weapon it has after Protective Edge, head of Defense Committee says - and it's firing shells to protect them.

Frequent Hamas rocket fire on the Gaza Belt region over the past week stems from "frustration" over the IDF uncovering terror tunnels, a top Knesset official said Friday. 

"There's a reason everyone is on edge," Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman MK Tzachi HaNegbi stated in an Army Radio interview. "It's been two years since Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, which was successful and managed to almost decimate Hamas entirely. Over the two years we have seen a lull we haven't seen since Hamas came to power by force in 2007." 

"Over the past several days and even more in the last 48 hours, we see an irritability with Hamas," he continued. "This is probably a signal of Hamas's frustration over the fact that the terror tunnel system it's developed has lost its immunity." 

"We are celebrating 68 years of holding firm against terror, facing tragedy, and hoping nonetheless that some intelligence will flow through the problematic brains of our enemies, so we don't have to war with them again," he added. 

Gazan terrorists lobbed mortar shells at Engineering Corps troops Friday, one day after three separate Hamas mortar attacks were launched at roughly two hour intervals by Gazan terrorists on IDF soldiers near the security border in southern Gaza.  

At least six mortar attacks were launched in the two days before that, but the terrorists were unable to prevent Israel from unearthing a new Hamas terror tunnel on Thursday morning.

The mortar attacks have been frequent enough to prompt Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to call an emergency Cabinet meeting late Thursday night to discuss the situation.  The meeting was postponed to Friday morning.

'His wording was not good'

Hanegbi also referred to the disastrous speech by the IDF's Deputy Chief of Staff, Major General Yair Golan, who stated on Holocaust Remembrance Day Wednesday night that there are comparisons between modern-day Israel – and Nazi Germany.

“If there is something that scares me about the memory of the Holocaust, it is the identification of horrifying processes that occurred in Europe in general and Germany in particular - 70, 80 and 90 years ago - and finding evidence of them here among us, today, in 2016,” he said.

"The wording of the deputy chief of staff was not good," Henegbi responded. "I was glad that he found it necessary to retract or clarify things, because the way he said them, they sounded very far from the truth." 

Golan's comments have already drawn sharp criticism from Jewish Home party chairman Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked. Bennett demanded Golan retract his statements, warning that they could empower Holocaust deniers and other anti-Semites.

Tova Dvorin


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