Last week the BBC News website covered the collapse of one of Hamas’ offensive tunnels with an article which sidestepped the real issues behind the story.
The day after that article was published Hamas’ Ismail Haniyeh made the organisation’s intentions amply clear.
“Hamas “heroes” are tirelessly digging Gaza Strip tunnels designed for use in attacks on Israel, a senior official said Friday, as the terror group buried seven excavators killed this week when the tunnel they were working on collapsed due to heavy rains and floods.
Thousands turned out for the funerals in the Hamas-ruled Gaza, Army Radio reported, where Ismail Haniyeh vowed that the group is growing stronger and will use any measures to preparation for the next confrontation with Israel.
“Some believe that the calm, when the noise of the cannons fall silent, is intended for rest. But the [Izz ad-Din] al-Qassam Brigades continue with their campaign through preparation and training,” said Haniyeh, referring to the Hamas military wing. The resistance, he said, is permanently in a state of continuous preparation.
“East of Gaza City, heroes are digging through rock and building tunnels, and to the west they are experimenting with rockets every day. The resistance continues on its path of liberation of the land,” Haniyeh said during the funerals at the Great Omari Mosque in Gaza City.”
And as Khaled Abu Toameh has documented, Haniyeh is not the only Hamas official openly discussing the terror group’s intentions.
“Hamas makes no secret of the goal of its renovations. Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar readily admits that the tunnels are being rebuilt to target Israel.
Indeed, clarity seems to be the name of the game with Hamas. Senior Hamas official Khalil Al-Hayeh explained that his organization would continue to dig tunnels for use in future confrontations with Israel. “We have enough mujahideen [jihad warriors] to replace their brothers who were martyred [in the tunnel collapse],” he said during the funeral of the seven Hamas members.
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh went a step further: the tunnels were not only designed to launch terror attacks against Israelis, but to “liberate all of Palestine.” In the words of Haniyeh, the tunnels are being dug not only to “defend the Gaza Strip, but to serve as a launching pad to reach all of Palestine.” […]
For Haniyeh, the tunnels are a “strategic weapon” in Hamas’s jihad to destroy Israel. Hamas’s military wing dug the tunnels around the Gaza Strip “to defend our people and liberate the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem,” the Hamas leader stated.”
The BBC has of course not bothered to report those statements to its audiences and an additional tunnel collapse on February 2nd has likewise been ignored by the corporation’s journalists.
As we documented here last week, the head of COGAT recently made a statement about Hamas’ abuse of entry permits into Israel for Gazans.
“Attempts by Hamas to exploit entry permits given to Gazan residents by Israel are jeopardizing future crossings by Palestinians, Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai, the coordinator of government activities in the territories, has warned.
In an interview to the Al-Quds Palestinian newspaper, Mordechai said Hamas will force Israel to consider completely close the crossings to the Strip if attempts to recruit Gazans for terrorist missions do not cease. […]
Hamas’s “cynical exploitation of Israeli entry permits is forcing Israel to think twice before it issues permits to Gazans.
This situation will eventually lead to the closure of the Strip and the complete cessation of travel by Gazans from the Strip,” Mordechai warned.”
“Israel police and Shin Bet [Israel Security Agency] arrested two Hamas operatives who had entered Israel from Gaza on forged medical documents. […]
After entering Israel, Mahmoud Matok, 31, along with his father, 51, escaped from hospital and traveled to Umm al-Fahm in northern Israel, where they were arrested. […]
The two confessed under interrogation to forging the medical records by using a relative’s medical condition as a pretext for their entry, with the younger Matok assuming the relative’s identity.
According to Shin Bet, the two had paid NIS 7,000 for the forged documents, which stated that the younger Matok suffered from paralysis of the legs and required emergency medical attention in Israel.”
The BBC continues to refrain from reporting on that issue too.