Senior officer warns:
'Islamic Jihad looking to retaliate for destruction of tunnel'

Officer in Southern Command says terror group embarrassed by destruction of terror tunnel, death of senior terrorist, looks to strike back.

Kobi Finkler ,

terror tunnel
terror tunnel
Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90

The IDF Southern Command remains on high alert should the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization retaliate for the blow it suffered when the IDF destroyed a terror tunnel leading from the Gaza Strip into Israel Monday.

Islamic Jihad was struck by a sense of failure when the tunnel was destroyed, The fact that at least eight terrorists were killed in the explosion of the tunnel could cause the terror group to respond in a manner and time which suits the organization.

A senior officer in the Southern Command revealed Wednesday that "we knew about the tunnel for a long time, as a result of he new staff work combined with new brain lab that includes intelligence personnel, field personnel, geologists, engineers and technology personnel."

"Everyone was brought together in this concentrated mix, and ultimately brought about the desired solution and the necessary knowledge, both for identifying the tunnel and for its explosion at extremely deep depths, which can reach 60 to 70 meters (196-230 feet) below ground."

The senior officer revealed that the defense establishment has reached a very advanced stage in the development of technologies to remove the threat of terror tunnels, and stated that within a year their benefit for the Hamas terrorist organization would be reduced. "We work in a number of directions and with multiple methods, not just in a single field."

According to the official, "there is a combination of technology, obstacles, engineering and intelligence," which together give the IDF the full picture of the situation and the ability to strike the terror tunnels both within and outside the Gaza Strip.

The IDF also speaks clearly about the Hamas organization, whose members did not excavate the tunnel, but was well aware of its existence: "There can be no substantial infrastructure operation in Gaza without Hamas knowing or approving it, and therefore the responsible party is Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip. Hamas does not come out of this event looking clean."

And what about the coming days? The security establishment maintains a high degree of preparedness and alertness. If the Islamic Jihad movement carries out any act of retaliation, whether in the form of rocket fire at Israel from Gaza, in a terrorist attack in Judea or Samaria, or in another form, the IDF will respond with great force.

"We have acted to remove a threat within Israeli territory and no one can prevent us from doing so," the senior officer stressed. "We are prepared for every scenario and know that Iran, which is behind Islamic Jihad and its headquarters in Syria, can give an order which would change the situation, and could even cause the collapse of the reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah. So our assessments and level of readiness are high."