The destruction of the widespread Hamas tunnel network was considered a major Israeli achievement of the recent war in Gaza, but the Hamas weekly newspaper Al-Risalah reports that Hamas continues digging tunnels from Gaza into Israel.
A reporter for Al-Risalah claims to have visited an “offensive tunnel” – a term referring to an underground conduit planned to be used in an attack against Israel. Hamas has attacked Israel via tunnels of this nature in the past, either by sending armed terrorists into Israel to target Israelis, or – as in the famous case of Gilad Shalit - by capturing a soldier nearby and abducting him into Gaza.
The tunnel purportedly visited by the reporter was destroyed by Israel during the recent war, but is now apparently being restored by Hamas, dozens of meters underground.
The Al-Risalah report confirms other evidence that Israel's successful detection and destruction of terrorist tunnels during Operation Protective Edge is on the brink of coming undone. Last month, for instance, Hamas confirmed that one of its members was killed while helping to dig a tunnel.
The IDF discovered and destroyed at least 34 terrorist tunnels during Protective Edge; others are assumed to have survived the war.
In the space of five days in July, Hamas terrorist groups entered Israel via three different tunnels, killing six IDF soldiers before they themselves were liquidated.
The recent revelation comes after a senior IDF commander of the Gaza Division engineering unit last week assessed that not all Hamas terror tunnels were destroyed, confirming earlier Hamas statements which bragged that not all of the group's tunnels were destroyed.
Regardless of that, and the fact that humanitarian materials were siphoned by Hamas to build the tunnels in the first place, Israel began transporting more construction materials into Gaza last Tuesday as a "humanitarian gesture," including 600 tons of cement, 50 truckloads of aggregate and 10 truckloads of steel.