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Ex-MK Alleges Government Cover-Up Over 'Terror Tunnels'

Shai Hermesh, a Gaza Belt resident, says locals heard and recorded digging sounds but matters were hushed up.
By Shimon Cohen, Gil Ronen
First Publish: 7/30/2014, 1:13 PM

MK Shai Hermesh
MK Shai Hermesh
Flash 90

Shai Hermesh, a resident of the Gaza Belt and a former MK for Kadima, said Wednesday that local residents have been hearing digging sounds from the ground for years, as Hamas terrorists dug their tunnels into Israel, but authorities preferred to hush up the matter.

Hermesh, who is a member of Kibbutz Kfar Aza, told Arutz Sheva in an exclusive interview that only the men remain in the kibbutz for the moment, after the women and children evacuated northward to greater safety. The kibbutz is located just 1.5 kilometers (one mile) from the Hamas stronghold of Sejaiya, in Gaza.

Seventeen kibbutzim – as the communal agricultural settlements are called – are within the range of Hamas's tunnels, he explained. Life in the communities at present is an unpleasant mix of “Kassam fire, rocket alerts, IDF artillery fire, alerts about infiltrations, the Nahal Oz incident not far from us, the Nir Am incident which is also not far from us,” and more.

"The most problematic thing is what is happening underground,” said Hermesh, whose party carried out the Disengagement in 2005, which brought Gaza under full control of genocidal terrorists.

Hermesh said that while members of his kibbutz did not hear digging sounds from underground over the years, members of neighboring kibbutzim did. “Sounds like that rose up [from the ground] and they were even recorded, but someone made sure this was forgotten and kept out of public discussion. Maybe they did not want to create panic, but on the other hand, hiding information like that from the public is like not telling the residents around the Dimona nuclear plant that it is leaking radiation.”

"The existential danger from the tunnels is several times worse than that of artillery fire. To counter artillery fire, we have safe rooms. A break-in by terrorists under one's home is a reality that even a military outpost would not stand for, not for a single day.”

"We had a feeling that, perhaps, there are one or two problems [with regard to tunnels] and that they will deal with it, but no one thought that there were dozens of networking tunnels here, with openings pointing straight at the kibbutzim of the 'tunnel line'. This is a new reality for us,” he explained.

“The thought that under your home, there is such bustling activity that no one controls or locates,” he added, “is a very problematic one for the state of Israel. The first thing that can be deduced from this is that a solution or arrangement needs to be found to remove this threat – either by brawn or by brain.”