On the 30th of October, the Israeli army destroyed a tunnel dug by a Palestinian Islamic terrorist organization, the Islamic Jihad, from extended from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory. 7 militants were killed in the demolition, 4 of which were Islamic Jihad members. The demolition was asserted by the IDF to be a ‘controlled mission’, carefully executed on the Israeli side of the border to neutralize the tunnels unwarranted evasion into Israel’s sovereignty. While the IDF stated that there was no intention to raise tensions with Palestine, the casualties ensued from the demolition will likely spur a retaliation from the Islamic jihadists. Senior IDF officials believes that the Islamic Jihad is currently in the process of preparing a revenge attack.
On the Tuesday following the demolition, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that Israel would ‘not tolerate any attacks on our sovereignty, on our people, on our land, whether from the air, from the sea, from the ground, or below the ground’. The tunnel was dug by Palestinian forces as a means to invade Israel, and thereby poses a significant threat to Israel’s national security if not dealt with. The IDF addressed the casualties ensued from the detonation by asserting that “it did not intend to kill the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group in the explosion, only looking to destroy the tunnel itself.” However, the validity of this claim is uncertain as Israel has recently declared that ‘we are holding the bodies of the five Palestinians killed in the tunnel’s demolition’, with the intention to trade them in return for missing Israelis, withheld by Palestinian forces. This provocation indicates that Israel’s claims to have attempted to avoid raising tensions with Palestine in the missions execution to not be entirely truthful.
Regardless of the motives behind the tunnel’s detonation as stated by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and the IDF, the mission’s execution proved reckless and will, inevitably, raise tensions with Palestine, whether intended or not. Furthermore, human rights groups have condemned Israel’s utilization of the killing of the 4 Islamic Jihad members in the detonation as ‘bargaining chips’, in exchange for Israeli bodies withheld by Palestine. This act ultimately violates the virtue of international law as each body is entitled to the right to be returned to their families and afforded a dignifying funeral and burial.
During the 2014 Gaza War, tunnels were a primary means for Palestinian Hamas militants to launch surprise attacks under Israel’s security fence, and, ultimately, into Israel. The Islamic Jihad subsequently stated that the destroyed tunnel had been dug for the purpose of kidnapping Israeli soldiers, and to execute civilian attacks on Israel. The tunnel had been under surveillance by the IDF for a length of time and was defensively destroyed by the Israeli army due to the terrorist threat it posed.
As a result of the tunnel’s demolition, tensions between Palestine and Israel are at a height unseen since the 2014 Israel-Gaza war. Both Palestine and Israel are defensively preparing attacks and counterattacks on each other, likely to result in a greater number of casualties far more devastating that amounted as a result of the IDF’s mission. Israel has threateningly advised Palestine not to seek revenge, by stating that its army will respond forcefully to any retaliation attempt. Palestine has adamantly replied by contending that ‘Israel’s threats don’t scare us’ and only reasing tensions.
Latest posts by Hannah Barter-Konecny (see all)
- Iran Violates UN Security Council Resolutions - December 27, 2017
- Conflict Escalating In Yemen As Allies Turned Foes, The Houthi’s and Saleh’s Forces, Engage In Battle. - December 11, 2017
- Israel Is Preparing To Deport Refugees Against Their Will - November 28, 2017