On January 14th the IDF announced the destruction of yet another cross-border tunnel running from the Gaza Strip into Israel. Unusually however, this latest tunnel – originating in the southern Gaza Strip – also reached Egyptian territory.
“The Israel Defense Forces on Sunday said it had destroyed a border-crossing Hamas attack tunnel, the third in recent months, that penetrated hundreds of meters into both Israeli and Egyptian territory from the Gaza Strip, in an airstrike in southern Gaza on Saturday night. […]
According to [IDF spokesperson Lt-Col] Conricus, the tunnel was dug in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, some 900 meters from Israel, and extended 180 meters into Israeli territory.
On the other end, it also extended hundreds of meters into Egypt, which could have allowed fighters in Gaza to attack Israeli positions from the Sinai Peninsula, he said.
Asked if the tunnel could have functioned as both a smuggling and attack tunnel, the army spokesperson responded, “It could have, but we deal with the infrastructure.””
Significantly, the tunnel ran under the Kerem Shalom crossing.
“The tunnel, which the army said belonged to the Hamas terror group that controls the Gaza Strip, ran underneath the Kerem Shalom Gaza crossing, as well as below major gas and diesel pipelines, spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus told reporters Sunday. […]
The Kerem Shalom Crossing routinely sees hundreds of trucks transporting medicine, food and drink into the Gaza Strip each day and acts as a major source of humanitarian aid to the beleaguered coastal enclave, which is subject to a blockade by both Israel and Egypt. Israel maintains the blockade to prevent terror group Hamas from importing weaponry. […]
“We know it’s a terror tunnel because it passes under different strategic assets,” Conricus said, referring to its proximity to the fuel pipelines into Gaza, the Kerem Shalom Crossing and a military installation nearby.
According to IDF figures, in 2017, over half a million tons of food entered the Strip through Kerem Shalom, along with 3.3 million tons of construction equipment and 12,000 tons of agricultural equipment.”
Despite both the threat to humanitarian supplies and fuel for civilians in the Gaza Strip and the significance of the fact that the tunnel reached Egyptian territory, the BBC chose not to report the story at all.
This is the third cross-border tunnel that the IDF has destroyed in the past two and a half months. On October 30th 2017 a tunnel belonging to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad was destroyed and while the BBC reported that story, its portrayal of the structure’s purpose was ambiguous. On December 10th 2017 the IDF destroyed a tunnel belonging to Hamas. The BBC did not produce any dedicated reporting on that story and the only mention of it came in half a sentence in an article on a different topic.
Now we see that the BBC – which has long under-reported and downplayed the subject of tunnels constructed by Hamas and other terror organisations – has chosen to completely ignore the story of Hamas’ construction of a structure breaching the sovereign territory of two neighbouring countries.