Colonel Amos Hacohen, head of the IDF's Southern Gaza Brigade, said on Friday that Hamas continues to grow stronger in Gaza and recent assessments have determined that the number of tunnels built by Gaza-based terrorists has increased considerably.
Speaking as the IDF marks one year since the counterterrorism operation Pillar of Defense, Hacohen said Hamas continues to expand and improve its missile system. He noted that the organization is currently focusing mainly on self-production due to the increasing difficulty of smuggling rockets into Gaza.
Egypt has been cracking down on the smuggling tunnels leading from the Sinai to Gaza, as part of its operation against terrorism in the restive Sinai Peninsula.
Colonel Hacohen added that the IDF continues to act to thwart acts of underground terrorism, improves its intelligence and is developing technological means to locate tunnels.
He stressed that the IDF is aware of the new challenges and threats and maintains constant vigilance despite the relative calm in the region.
Last month, IDF soldiers discovered a tunnel, built by Gaza terrorists, that led from Gaza to Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha.
Terrorists were planning a large-scale infiltration and attack, and were possibly planning to bring Israeli civilians back to Gaza as captives.
Hamas’s “military wing”, the Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, has admitted that it masterminded the terror tunnel.
Last week, a spokesman for the Al-Qassam brigade vowed Hamas would continue building terror tunnels and press on in the terror war to destroy Israel.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)