The IDF warned that Hamas is bringing devastation to Gaza’s civilian population, which it is exploiting for terror purposes.
The IDF on Thursday revealed that it has identified two residential buildings in the northern Gaza Strip as potential military targets after discovering Hamas terror tunnels underneath them.
The army released satellite images of the homes, located near the Israeli border, on Thursday, a day after it struck Hamas targets in Gaza in response to a rocket strike on southern Israel.
Maj. Gen. Eyal Zamir, head of Israel’s Southern Command, said the situation in Gaza is “stable, but volatile.”
He said the two buildings in the photos would be legitimate targets in the event of a future conflict and would draw Israeli forces into densely populated civilian areas. The military did not say how the tunnels had been identified.
These examples are only two of numerous similar instances.
One of the buildings identified was a six-story residential building constructed in the past two years, built after the IDF counter-terrorism Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014.
“The location of the tunnel shafts in these buildings is intended to disguise them under civilian cover,” the army said in a statement. “In wartime, these exploited locations become legitimate military targets under international law.”
Hamas, an Islamic terror, group is dedicated to Israel’s destruction and has fought three wars against it since it took control of Gaza in 2007.
Israel came under heavy international criticism after the 2014 war because of heavy Palestinian civilian casualties. Israel says it does its utmost to protect civilians and blames Hamas for the casualties because the group uses civilian areas for cover.
Hamas has built a sophisticated network of tunnels that it has used to penetrate Israel to carry out terrorist attacks on civilians and soldiers and smuggle goods and weapons in and out of Gaza through the Sinai Peninsula.
During a 2014 war, Hamas used tunnels to attack Israeli targets. Israel destroyed over 30 tunnels during the fighting and has identified the tunnels as a strategic threat. Hamas has since been working vigorously to rebuild the network which they use for military build-up, many times at the expense of innocent Gazans from whom they steal building materials.
Israel began constructing a $530 million underground barrier along its border with Gaza in September to prevent more Hamas tunnels from breaching Israeli territory. IDF Chief of Staff Gen. Gadi Eisenkot described the barrier as, “the largest project” ever undertaken in Israel’s military history.”
Zamir said the barrier was expected to be completed within two years.
By: AP and United with Israel Staff