Why this obsession with tunnels? Are they merely tactical —a low-tech, relatively low-cost weapon in a war against the incalculably superior IDF— or do they tell us something essential about Hamas?
If I hear one more "call for an Israeli ceasefire" I'm going to scream! How about calling for an "unconditional surrender" by Hamas? Israel must stand strong and relentlessly destroy every tunnel and every Hamas soldier or the pattern will repeat itself. I take seriously the idea that hurting innocent Palestinians will only create the next round of terrorists, but a ceasefire now is not the answer.
I am actually surprised at the naivety of Israel. How many times have they been taught the lesson but kept ignoring it. Hamas is a subhuman death cult. A war is a war, you either win or lose. What did the Allies do in WW2, tiptoe around to avoid killing civilians?
You give civilians 7 days, to leave Gaza. It's Hamas' responsibility. Then destroy the place, including all the tunnels. Get the UN which cares so much about the "Palestinians" to rebuild. They had their independence and launched an unprovoked war.
Otherwise, the cycle keeps going. Enough is enough.
As a psychiatrist, I am fascinated by your articles exploring the conscious and subconscious levels of behavior of Islamic terrorists and their apologists. I fully agree that the bottom line is evil. Reading the Quran, I’ve run across passages (paraphrased) which exhort the faithful to “smite the necks of the infidels” and to “beat your wide to her couch” if she doesn’t do whatever the man demands. This is not the “Old Testament” or ancient Torah. This is their civilization now, in the present. They like to say that they have “improved” on the previous world religions. The concept of Taqiyya allows the terrorists to operate completely outside of human morality.
Just so. It's not Hamas. It's not the Palestinians. Deep down, it is pure Evil that we fight.
Thanks for the deep analysis of the deep tunnels of Gaza. Great points about how Hamas' tunnels are a mindset, not just a military strategy.
Your piece brings to mind a comparison I've been thinking about, and wrote about on my Substack, to ancient Israel's tunnels from the Bar Kochba period (late second century CE), which are also a central symbol of that ill-fated struggle against Roman legions.
Many of the IDF soldiers' ancestors also burrowed underground, not far from Gaza. We had tunnels first: not to kill civilians, but to live while the cities above them were destroyed.
Like a dip into the darkest reaches of the subconscious, wherein bad dreams reside.
Now the sappers from hell have brought the ultimate nightmare to life in Gaza, while the billionaire head honchos live it up in Qatar.
I read earlier today that a special IDF unit employs highly trained Belgian dogs as they take on the tunnel network.
Here in the UK, the SNP, on full halo polishing manoeuvres, has set up a motion calling for a ceasefire tomorrow at Westminster. Hopefully, this will be defeated but the Nats will spin their humanitarian credentials,while playing into the hands of Hamas.
Thank you. I'll need to think about this some more but, on first reading, I feel like there's is a key insight here.
Pump them full of sea water.
It occurs to me that now, with the IDF on the ground in Gaza, those tunnels embody some liabilities for Hamas. After all, hiding out in tunnels cedes the surface to the IDF.
As far as I can tell, the Hamas tunnels differ from the WW II Japanese fortifications in that they don't incorporate fighting positions. The Japanese tunnel systems connected to infantry and artillery firing points on the surface, enabling supplies, ammunition, and troops to be moved under cover. They were difficult to attack because points of entry were either unobservable by US troops or covered by fire. As I understand it, the Hamas tunnel system is more in the nature of a hideout. With the IDF expanding its zone of control up top, more and more of it should become untenable.
I don't mean to suggest that the IDF's task is a simple one. Reducing the Hamas tunnel system will be a long, arduous process with a premium on intelligence gathering and attention to detail. It'll take time, but it can be done.
I believe this is a Biblical war... good vs evil... and the Creator will have His way. Israel is still the apple of His eye. Those who believe He has abandoned His people are unfamiliar with the Biblical prophets. Even through Hosea which is very condemning of the unfaithfulness of His people, says they are still people of the eternal covenant. As God, who walked through the sacrificial dream of Abraham, says He will remain true to the Covenant as long as He lives. Will God die? Certainly not.
I don’t believe in a ceasefire for reasons well documented and known . Also I firmly am of the attitude that Hamas will be destroyed and a new government in place . It will need security on the ground to prevent further attacks and supplies of weapons from Iran . West Bank needs clearing also so we are looking at months if not longer .
Even Zionism founder Theodor Herzl would stand with Hamas🇵🇸 today, I explain here:
The progress so far, is not good. Only one senior official of Hamas killed. And it takes a massive effort to eradicate Hamas. One wonders if technology could produce a giant roto tooter to clear out the tunnels of vermin.
I do fear that Hamas won’t release more hostages. Hostages in the tunnels is the one reason why Israel hasn’t flooded the tunnels with sea water yet.
So which is it? The tunnels are "well lit" or in a state of "darkness" down into which Israelis fear being "dragged"? Author Oren seems to want it both ways, no?
"... built with the expectation of an Israeli ground attack, the tunnels are testaments to a uniquely apocalyptic vision. With Gaza reduced to ruins and Israel paralyzed by a ceasefire, the tunnels will enable Hamas to rise from the rubble and declare a jihadist victory....
Hamas, the tunnels tell us, is evil."
Exactly right, every word.