Israel on Thursday released detailed intelligence about how Hamas is utilizing newly constructed residential buildings inside coastal strip to disguise the increase of underground tunnels and command centers from which the Jewish state says the group plans to wage urban war against it.
Israel released the intel to create its case for the purpose it insists is surely an unwanted, yet potentially necessary new round of combat in Gaza.
Briefing reporters here, Maj. Gen. Eyal Zamir, commander from the Israel Defense Forces’ Southern Command, described two homes carefully mapped out by military intelligence, complete with geolocation target coordinates, which he insists prove “beyond a shadow of doubt that Hamas is operating within and within the cover of civilians, in preparation for the following war.”
During the highly unusual briefing targeted at bolstering Israel’s case should it should destroy the structures built-in heavily populated residential neighborhoods, Zamir insisted Israel possesses “many more such targets beyond what we’re showing you.”
He repeatedly referred to the structures, one a six-story building and private car park with access to a tunnel network, and the other children home with an entrance to a tunnel that connects to some nearby mosque, as legitimate targets. “I say these are generally legitimate military targets, and whoever is endangering himself and his family has to hold Hamas responsible for the purpose happens,” he explained.
The IDF commander said Israel is “fully aware” in the humanitarian distress on the nearly 2 million residents of Gaza, lots of whom are subsisting at below poverty levels having a mere four hours of electricity on a daily basis. If Israel has got to act, Zamir said, it will do this with technology, tactics and procedures aimed at minimizing the so-called collateral harm to uninvolved civilians.
Nevertheless, he acknowledged that civilians will be harmed, which is precisely what Hamas along with other Gaza-based groups are depending on “in order to damage Israel’s legitimacy.”
“Their thought of operation is to divert materials which are meant for civilian improvements for his or her own military purposes,” Zamir said. ”It validates our position that most responsibility for humanitarian conditions and trouble for civilians must rest around the shoulders of Hamas.
“A large part of international humanitarian aid will probably terror purposes. This truth is extremely flammable and might drag us into another round.”
According on the IDF commander, Israeli intelligence assessments show deterrence since summer 2014 Gaza War continues to be holding, however the “more or less stable” situation for the ground can “quickly deteriorate” and spiral into conflict. “We hope the relative quiet will probably be preserved. But we have been on high readiness and also to get into another round as required,” Zamir said.
He cited Israel’s ongoing develop a fresh security barrier to be built along Israel’s entire border with Gaza as a possible trigger for Hamas to initiate escalation. Nevertheless, he insisted work around the barrier, which involves a concrete wall deep underground, along having a smart, sensor-fused wall to give high above ground, is scheduled for completion within couple of years.
“This barrier is really a strategic necessity for your state of Israel to stop terrorist infiltrations. And inside the event you’ll find attack tunnels, we’re going to learn how to discover their whereabouts and neutralize them,” Zamir said. “We really hope they [Hamas] won’t challenge us in this regard.”
Israel fought a 51-day war with Hamas that ended in mid-August 2014, mostly to destroy dozens of tunnels that this country said were produced for purposes of attacking the it or infiltrating its territory.