'There are more tunnels from Gaza'

Commander of Gaza Brigade warns that Hamas has more tunnels, is likely looking to escalate with Israel.

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Tzvi Lev,

Terror tunnel
Terror tunnel

Southern Gaza Brigade Commander Colonel Kobi Heller warned that the Hamas terror group is looking to escalate tensions, stating that "Hamas had more [terror] tunnels" and estimated that Israel's anti-tunnel technology "will only be ready in about two years," Hadashot 10 reported on Thursday.

Heller also addressed Israel's recent demolition of a second Hamas terror tunnel, which he predicted would lead to an escalation with Hamas. "When the other side sees that its strategic assets, which in this case are the offensive sub-surface tunnels, are being destroyed one by one, one tunnel after the other, this is a very significant event ... these are not the last of the tunnels," he said.

Heller reiterated that Israel is not interested in another war with Hamas and was trying to calm the tensions. He said, however, that "the current dynamic is like a snowball that we are trying to stop in any way we can, but there are people on the other side who are irrational. They have a chance to cause problems...We hope that it'll end in a while and then we can go back to normal."

According to Heller, while Hamas likely has more tunnels, Israel will not tolerate any violation of its sovereignty, pointing to the tunnel which Israel destroyed in early November. "It was clear that if there were terrorists crossing the fence, whether it be underground, by digging tunnels in our territory, then this is a blatant violation of the sovereignty of the State of Israel" said Heller.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said similar statements on Sunday, after Israel announced that it had demolished a terror tunnel built in the area of Khan Yunis, a city in Gaza.

"Terror tunnels which cross the border into Israel and threaten our sovereignty are a threat we will not accept, and we will invest every possible resource in removing this threat," Liberman said.

Since then, rockets from Gaza have landed in Israel for four consecutive days, which commentators point to as a sign that Hamas has removed its prohibition on the Palestinian Islamic Jihad from launching rockets into Israel. "It could be that Hamas is choosing not to pay attention," surmised Heller.