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'I Dug Terror Tunnels in Gaza and Had No Idea'

Remarkable letter smuggled out of Gaza relates how Hamas manipulates Palestinian civilians to dig terror tunnels to Israel.
By Orli Harari, Ari Yashar
First Publish: 8/16/2014, 9:38 PM

Diggers in Hamas Gaza tunnel
Diggers in Hamas Gaza tunnel
Flash 90

A gripping letter reportedly smuggled out of the Hamas terror enclave of Gaza reveals the nightmarish existence suffered by residents forced to dig terror tunnels for Hamas.

Fox News exposed the letter, which was hand-written in Arabic by a 30-year-old resident of Gaza City, and smuggled out to Itzik Azar, an Israeli living in the coastal region who was a friend of the writer's deceased father.

After his father was murdered by Hamas terrorists who seized his metalwork shop to produce domestic rockets, such as the M-75, the writer was forced into desperate financial straits, and seized a cryptic job offer.

He reports being picked up in a windowless truck with five others, which brought them to a building, from which they dug tunnels in intense shifts lasting ten days.

The writer reports arriving in the building the first time and being told to enter an hole in the ground.

"We walked for a few hundred meters, and when we got to the end, two Hamas members were waiting for us. They gave us working tools and explained to us what to do in order to make the tunnel longer," reports the writer.

The letter describes the grueling labor in unventilated shafts as Hamas terrorists shouted and occasionally assaulted the workers. Afterwards, they were transported home and given a paltry wage, not knowing "where we’d been, or what tunnel we dug."

As Hamas launched its terror war on Israel last month, using the tunnels to lethal effect on IDF soldiers in Operation Protective Edge and in several failed attempts to murder Israeli civilians, the writer "heard about the tunnels that Hamas dug and I understood that I helped them."

"We pray that the world will help to free us from the fearful and cruel Hamas rule in the Gaza Strip. I pray for death to all Hamas members and that we will get freedom and a chance to live a normal life for our children in Gaza. Inshalla (G-d willing)," concluded the letter.

A Hamas spokesperson recently told Al Jazeera that since Operation Pillar of Defense ended in 2012, "hundreds of our men were martyred digging the tunnels during the previous lull period. ...The mujahideen of the Al-Qassam Brigades were getting ready in the tunnels."

Many of those who survived digging the terror tunnels did not meet a better end than their "martyred" compatriots; according to reports, in recent weeks Hamas has executed dozens of the diggers to make absolutely certain they would not reveal information about the locations in which they were digging.

Of the hundreds who died in the digging, "at least 160 children have been killed in the tunnels" reported the Journal of Palestine Studies in 2012, indicating how forced child labor was also committed by Hamas in its terror scheme.

The Hamas terrorists apparently were planning to use the massive web of tunnels into Israel to conduct a massacre on Israeli communities near Gaza on Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year.

Over 30 tunnels have been destroyed by the IDF in the course of the current operation, although that number is limited to the tunnels found until now, and may mean the threat posed by the tunnels has not been fully obliterated.