MK Zev Elkin, Chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, said that the IDF was not surprised at the extent and number of tunnels Hamas had built underneath Gaza. The way the IDF has been handling the issue in the past several weeks, he told Arutz Sheva in an interview, proves it.
Elkin discussed the possibility of a cease-fire with Hamas. He said that the reports about a proposal made by US Secretary of State John Kerry may have been premature; as far as he knew, he said, “there is no organized proposal yet.”
In any event, he said Israel could not agree to a situation in which Hamas benefits in any way from a cease-fire, including economically. “Any scenario in which Hamas benefits from a cease-fire economically would pose a great problem for Israel,” he said. “It sets a pattern where Hamas can pressure us for 'protection money' any time it runs short of cash. All they have to do is fire at Israel enough to get Israel to fire back, and then the international community gets involved and does all the work for Hamas,” he said. “We cannot allow this kind of pattern of behavior to become entrenched,” said Elkin.
“The IDF knew all about the tunnel threat and was ready for it,” he said. “I imagine the political establishment knew about it as well. We on the Committee were not shocked by the news of the tunnels.”
Elkin also could not confirm rumors of a “mega terror attack” Hamas terrorists had been planning, possibly for Rosh Hashana, in which hundreds of terrorists would slip into Israel and begin slaughtering people.
“A large number of stories have cropped up surrounding the tunnels,” he said. “It's natural for such stories to crop up, under the circumstances. The main this is the results. I am happy that we are now again operating at full capacity after talk of a cease-fire. We must bring Hamas to the breaking point, until it demands a cease-fire without conditions.”