PM Benjamin Netanyahu visits Gaza border area and gets up-close look at Hamas terror tunnel uncovered last month • Past two years have been “the quietest” in Gaza sector since Hamas rose to power in the coastal enclave, Netanyahu says.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the Gaza border area on Tuesday and got an up-close look at the Hamas terror tunnel that the IDF uncovered last month.
Netanyahu was accompanied on Tuesday by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, GOC Southern Command Maj. Gen. Eyal Zamir. The prime minister received a security briefing on the situation in the Gaza sector and met with a group of IDF soldiers.
During his talk with the soldiers, Netanyahu said that the two years since Operation Protective Edge have been “the quietest in the sector in many years, since the rise of Hamas [in Gaza].”
“This quiet was achieved thanks to the hard work of our fighters,” Netanyahu told the soldiers. “We rely on you and we are proud of you.”
Netanyahu went on to say: “A half million people have been murdered around us — in Syria which is collapsing and Iraq which has collapsed. And we have the Islamic State group in the Syrian Golan and here [in the south] just across the border. We are in the eye of the storm, and relative to our surroundings, we are the most stable, quiet and safe country.”
An investigation has found that the tunnel uncovered last month was built by Hamas before Operation Protective Edge, meaning that not all cross-border tunnels were destroyed by Israel during the 50-day war.
Since the end of Operation Protective Edge, the IDF has invested more than 600 million shekels ($159 million) in dealing with the Gaza tunnel threat.
Meanwhile, IDF troops operating along the border fence next to the northern part of the Gaza Strip came under fire on Tuesday afternoon. No soldiers were wounded in the incident, but an IDF engineering vehicle was damaged.
And on Wednesday morning, a mortar shell was fired at IDF troops operating along the border fence next to the southern part of the Gaza Strip. No soldiers were wounded in the incident. The IDF responded with tank fire at the suspected mortar launch site.