July 28, 2014
JERUSALEM (JTA) —
The IDF learned of the planned attack while interrogating Hamas prisoners.
Hamas had planned to send 200 terrorists from a tunnel at a time, through dozens of tunnels in the intricate underground system. The terrorist organization planned to send militants across six western Negev towns and kidnap and kill dozens of Israelis. Security forces stated it’s possible that many tunnel openings were in the heart of communities.
Security sources stressed that if the government wants to eliminate the problem of the tunnels, the IDF needs more time.
i24news.tv reports that Netanyahu told officials if the attack hadn’t been uncovered, Israeli fatalities could have been higher than the 2,200 deaths that occurred during the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
Recently a dozen retired U.S. generals and admirals traveled to Israel during a trip sponsored by Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA). During the trip, the group toured a tunnel from Gaza discovered near an Israeli kindergarten.
“Unlike tunnels that I had seen during the Iraq war that were designed for smuggling, this Hamas tunnel was designed for launching murder and kidnapping raids. The 3-mile-long tunnel was reinforced with concrete, lined with telephone wires, and included cabins unnecessary for infiltration operations but useful for holding hostages,” Gen. James T. Conway, USMC (ret.) described in the Wall Street Journal.
Israel has uncovered and destroyed over 30 tunnels during the recent “Operation Protective Edge.”