As the international community focuses on rebuilding Gaza above ground, Hamas has been busy rebuilding its terror infrastructure below ground.
Since Operation Protective Edge, Israel has worked with the international community to help improve the living conditions of Gaza’s civilians. Despite the risk of Hamas rearming, Israel has facilitated the entrance of over 1,300,000 tons of construction materials into Gaza. These materials are currently being used for 367 international projects, such as the construction of medical centers, water and sewage facilities, schools, houses and roads.
Meanwhile, Hamas, the ruling entity in the Gaza Strip, has been dedicating its efforts to rebuilding its terror infrastructure. This mainly includes their sophisticated tunnel network, used as weapons caches, bunkers, command centers and a concealed transportation artery for terrorists and weapons. “It’s unfortunate that the Hamas regime chooses to invest its resources in terror rather than the welfare of the people of Gaza,” said Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, IDF (Zahal) Spokesperson.
Last summer, Hamas terrorists used these tunnels to infiltrate Israel on six separate occasions.
The Price of Hamas’ Underground Network
Instead of investing resources in the people of Gaza, Hamas spends the following on an average two mile tunnel:
- 3 million dollars
- 9 tons of clay
- 1,800 tons of concrete
- 3 years of labor
During Operation Protective Edge, the IDF (Zahal) destroyed 32 tunnels. If each tunnel cost around 3 million dollars, that means Hamas spent almost 100 million dollars on its vast tunnel network. Each tunnel Hamas built robbed the Palestinian people of potential homes, mosques, school and medical clinics. Even today, Hamas continues to invest millions of dollars in restocking and rebuilding its weapons cache rather than investing in Gaza.
As Khalil al-Hayya, a senior Hamas official, said on June 5, 2015: “We continue to invest our efforts into digging more tunnels.” He emphasized that, ”the tunnels are the most powerful weapon in the hands of Hamas, and the Al Qassam Brigade [Hamas’ military wing] will continue day and night in the mission of digging these tunnels.” [Al-Risala News]
Imagine what Gaza would look like today if Hamas was investing in its civilian population, rather than channelling substantial resources into its vast terror infrastructure.