This Monday a new threat arrived: terrorists could attack Israel using the clandestine tunnels that connect Gaza e Israel below the border.
The the Gaza Strip It is surrounded, besieged and there are few border crossings in one of the most densely populated areas in the world. Therefore, the Palestinians found in these tunnels a way to smuggle goods, fuel and weapons from Egypt, passing under the fences. The first tunnels were dug around 1989 by a few “clans” activated for “commercial” reasons and over time became the supply line for armed groups.
Years ago, Hamas leader Khaled Meshal already stated that “necessity is the mother of invention,” in reference to the tunnels. The guerrillas who have lived in the area for more than 20 years have transformed the tunnels for three purposes: logistical, to receive war material; defensive, to hinder possible Israeli ground interventions; and offensive, to send commandos into the interior of the Jewish State evading surveillance. The tunnels, initially crudely built, became structures full of light supports, up to 60-80 meters deep, capable of ensuring the rapid transit of people and goods. And the tunnels immediately proved to be an “ally” of the militiamen.
The Palestinians have used them to capture soldiers, plant mines and attack patrols. In 2014, the military discovered a passage with four motorcycles inside: they were going to be used for an assault on a kibbutz with the aim of kidnapping hostages. Mission on a smaller scale than what happened last Saturday.
Crisis after crisis, these tunnels have entered Israel’s list of priority objectives. The defense has discovered more than 50 of them thanks to tips and the use of sophisticated means. Sensors, seismographs and “secret” devices have helped the army while the Egyptians flooded areas on their side of the border with sewage.