Guardian

Palestinians pay dearly for Hamas ‘resistance tunnels’


The IDF recently discovered an elaborate and costly tunnel from Gaza to Israel which was likely to be used by Hamas to launch future terror attacks.

Tunnel2-e1381669083207

A soldier investigating the Gazan terror tunnel that led into Israeli civilian communities,

The 1.7 km tunnel (leading from Khan Younis, in southern Gaza, into Israel) was complete with an electrical supply and phone lines, was reportedly the longest ever constructed, and extends a full 18 meters underground. It cost Hamas tens of millions of dollars, and used an estimated 24,000 concrete slabs and 500 tons of concrete (material which the IDF had recently permitted into Gaza in greater quantities to benefit the ‘civilian’ construction sector). If it had been utilized in a terror attack, or a kidnapping, it could have prompted a full-scale war. 

However, whilst the Guardian’s Harriet Sherwood has been focused on other ‘productive’ Gaza smuggling activities, and hasn’t yet reported on the tunnel, we’d recommend that – if she does cover it – she considers framing the story in a manner similar to her coverage of a World Bank report titled ’Israel’s West Bank control ‘costing Palestinian economy billions, and focus on the money lost by the tunnel’s construction and the likely loss in future imports and trade.  

She may also want to glean important context on the implications of the story from our guest contributor Akus who, in response to Sherwood’s World Bank story, questioned the assumption that wealth will flow from Palestinian lands due merely to an end to the ‘occupation’.  Akus suggested the speciousness of the assumption that a new Palestinian state will be economically successful, especially in light of the long history of mismanagement by the PA, which has included billions in wasted and stolen foreign aid.

Akus also pointed to factors the World Bank report on the ‘root cause’ of Palestine’s economic woes didn’t take into account.  He noted that their rosy scenario of future growth (once free of the yoke of ‘Israeli oppression’) ignores a Palestinian culture which is inimical to such progress – the deleterious effects of terror, incitement and moral scapegoating inherently inconsistent with the values necessary for social and economic progress and self-reliance.

Indeed, while most mainstream media outlets have reported on the terror tunnel, we haven’t yet read an analysis which has seriously connected the dots and provided readers with an understanding of the implications of such Islamist duplicity.

A serious contextualization of the story would note that, just last month, Israel permitted delivery of increased quantities of cement and steel for use by the private sector into Gaza, levels not seen since 2007 when Israel banned their transfer fearing that Hamas would use construction materials unsupervised by international aid agencies to fortify its positions and build tunnels for terror attacks.

Indeed, the IDF reported that “sufficient evidence suggests that terrorists methodically abuse construction materials transferred into the strip by Israel as humanitarian aid in order to build such [terror] tunnels.”

In other words, initial Israeli concerns about the potential misuse of humanitarian aid for military purposes (dual use items) have clearly been vindicated.

The next time you read a report at the Guardian or elsewhere criticizing Israeli restrictions on imports into Gaza, consider how many homes, schools, medical facilities, water sewage treatment plants, and other vital infrastructure projects could have been built in Gaza with the construction materials Hamas continues to divert for military purposes.

Further, per the post by Akus, you can conclude from the enormous resources (in time, money and manpower) that went into the Gaza terror tunnels that the rosy scenarios for peace and prosperity in another independent Palestinian polity are, at best, quite questionable.  

When pro-Israel commentators criticize the Palestinian culture of incitement and terror, they aren’t engaging in ‘Zionist talking points’ but, rather, are expressing sincere concerns that the greatest peace treaty ever written can’t engender a Palestinian culture of peace, education and self-sufficiency.  Though most Israelis support in principle ‘two states for two peoples’, Israelis accurately extrapolate from the consequences of recent territorial concessions that withdrawing from land alone won’t necessarily bring peace if Palestinian leaders don’t cease in inculcating their citizenry with the values of belligerence, hate and violence.

It’s unclear how anyone truly concerned with peace in the Middle East can fail to recognize that the “resistance tunnels” in Gaza not only will cost millions to the Gazan economy, but will result in an additional loss more difficult to quantify – the continued erosion of Israeli trust, and the fear that even our bravest and most audacious peace overtures will never truly be reciprocated. 

18 replies »

  1. The Guardian cunningly pre-empted this critical report by CiFW – by, erm, posting an article from Avi Shlaim blaming Netanyahu for wrecking the Oslo accords … with zero mention of Hamas!

    However, whilst the Guardian’s Harriet Sherwood has been focused on other ‘productive’ Gaza smuggling activities, and hasn’t yet reported on the tunnel, we’d recommend that – if she does cover it – she considers framing the story in a manner similar to her coverage of a World Bank report titled ’Israel’s West Bank control ‘costing Palestinian economy billions‘, and focus on the money lost by the tunnel’s construction and the likely loss in future imports and trade.

    Yes, absolutely.

    • Hmmm… I only now see that said Shlaim piece was from Sept. (not Oct.) 12. In my defence: the G.’s ME page is currently a month out of date. Read into that what you will …

  2. “The IDF recently discovered an elaborate and costly tunnel…”

    UNRWA is like the querterly budget. If you don’t use it you lose it…

  3. Don’t know about you but if I was a Palestinian living in gaza I’d be very upset right now with Hamas playing games instead of focusing on the economy.

    • Itsik. Yes, I’d be quite upset, but I would keep it to myself, for fear of being branded a “collaborator” and being punished by being lynched or dragged behind motorbikes through the streets.

  4. This is a timely and great follow-up to the World Bank report.

    I wonder how much damage that report will do to the Palestinians by deflecting them from their real internal problems, specially since the incredibly damaging report from the EU about waste and fraud that has made it impossible to understand where the $3.6 billion that they gave to the Palestinians since 2008 has gone.

    Well – now we know – it has gone, in part at least, to Hamas’ “underground economy”.

    http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/world_news/Middle_East/article1326858.ece?CMP=OTH-gnws-standard-2013_10_12

    BILLIONS of euros in European aid to the Palestinians may have been misspent, squandered or lost to corruption, according to a damning report by the European Court of Auditors, the Luxembourg-based watchdog.

    Brussels transferred more than £1.95bn to the occupied territories between 2008 and 2012 but had little control over how it was spent, the auditors say in an unpublished report seen by The Sunday Times.

    EU investigators who visited sites in Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank noted “significant shortcomings” in the management of funds sent to Gaza and the West Bank. Gaza is controlled by Hamas, which is classified as a terrorist organisation by the EU.

      • Didn’t the World Bank already pre-empt this by trying to pretend that Israeli control of Area C was what was sinking the Palestinian economy and not the laughably corrupt nature of the PA.

  5. Another bad day for Islamo Fascist and its Guardian supporters.

    http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/israeli-leader-stays-hard-line-peace-talks-20566794
    Israel Army: 2nd Tunnel From Gaza Found, Destroyed
    JERUSALEM
    October 14, 2013 (AP)
    JOSEF FEDERMAN

    Israel’s military says it has found and destroyed a second tunnel dug from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip into Israel.

    The military says it blew up the tunnel on Tuesday. It says the tunnel was packed with explosives and stretched dozens of meters (yards) into Israel.

    Brig. Gen. Yoav Mordechai warned that the surrounding area is dangerous and “threats are still imminent.”

    On Sunday, the military said it discovered a long, concrete-lined tunnel from Gaza into Israel, which it said militants planned to use to attack or kidnap Israelis.

    Gaza’s Hamas rulers and their allies have dug tunnels into Israel before. It was through one such tunnel in 2006 that militants sneaked into Israel, killed two soldiers and kidnapped a third, Gilad Schalit, who was held hostage for five years.

  6. pretzelberg, Avi Shlaim is a well known revisionist historian liar.
    He’s also an apologist for Palestinian terrrorists.
    After Hamas terrorist Yassin was killed in 04, Shlaim did everything to appease this mass murderer.
    Let me put what Shlaim said, then i respond.

    http://archives.dawn.com/2004/03/29/int11.htm
    Sharon has opened the gates of hell
    Avi Shlaim
    March 29, 2004.

    Shlaim said, Israel’s assassination of Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, founder and spiritual leader of Hamas, marked an extraordinarily dangerous escalation in the conflict between Jews and Arabs in Palestine.

    My comments.
    Shlaim thinks Jews live in some Roman colonialist name called Palestine.
    Jews are the only people to live in Israel for the last 3500 years.

    Terrorism went down 90% after Yassin was killed.
    Hundreds of Jews who had there limbs torn off by homicide bombers sent by Yassin.

    The PR shots of Yassin in his wheelchair will be remembered by those that don’t see the crippled Jewish bodies of all those that he ordered to be bombed by Hamas.

    Yassin was a mass murderer of the same ilk as Saddam Hussein.
    Saddam never killed a Kurd he just inspired others to do his dirty work.
    Some of the Terrorist attacks Yassin ordered.
    Then think, Shlaim opposed killing this Palestinian Nazi.

    No32A bus, mainly carrying Israeli school children, Patt junction, Jerusalem 19 dead, 70 injured.
    Sbarro Pizzeria, Jerusalem 15 dead, 130 injured.
    Snooker club, Rishon Letzion 15 dead, 55 injured.
    Student cafeteria, Hebrew University , Jerusalem
    10 dead, 85 injured.
    Park Hotel Passover meal, Netanya 30 dead, 140 injured. Teenagers on pedestrian precinct, Jerusalem bombed by Hamas
    11 dead, 180 injured.
    No2 bus carrying Jewish worshippers back from the Western wall 23 dead, 130 injured.
    Shopping precinct, central Jerusalem (triple suicide bombing) 23 dead, 150 injured.
    Moment café, Jerusalem 11 dead, 54 injured.
    Shopping centre, Netanya 5 dead, 100 injured.
    Matza restaurant, Haifa 15 killed, 40 injured.
    Dolphinarium discotheque, Tel Aviv 21 dead, 120 injured.
    Port facilities, Ashdod 10 dead, 16 injured.
    Petrol station, Ariel 3 dead, 20 injured.
    Beachfront bar, Tel-Aviv 3 dead, 60 injured.
    Hitchhiking post, Tzfirin 9 dead, 30 injured.
    Café Hillel, Jerusalem 7 dead, 50 injured.
    Suicide bombings of Israeli passenger buses Number 11 bus, Haifa – 16 dead.
    Number 960 bus, Haifa – 11 dead.
    Number 361 bus, Meron – 9 dead Number.
    4 bus, Tel-Aviv – 6 dead Number.
    20 bus, Jerusalem – 11 dead.
    No 37 bus, Haifa – 17 dead.
    No 6 bus, Jerusalem – 7 dead.
    No 14A bus, Jerusalem – 17 dead.
    No 18 bus, Jerusalem – (the same bus route attacked on successive weeks) Two buses following each other in Beersheva – 49 dead.