Maariv – Israel’s third largest circulation daily – is confirming that Hamas planned a mass terror attack on southern Israel on Rosh HaShannah, the Jewish New Year, a little more than two months from now.
According to the report, Hamas planned to send up to 200 terrorists through many tunnels that lead into six different kibbutzim, moshavim and villages around Gaza’s borders.
Although the newspaper does not make the connection, I suspect that this map (at right) likely shows some of the places involved, and explains why the battle of Shejaiya earlier this week was so important.
According to Maariv, the tunnel digging started several years ago, and in the last year Hamas terrorists have been working three shifts per day, around the clock, in order to add 15 meters per day to each tunnel.
Hamas has spent hundreds of millions of dollars (actually, euros) on the tunnels, which money could have gone to pay for schools hospitals, bomb shelters, etc.
The IDF has told the political echelon that it is capable of finishing the job, but it needs several more days to do so. Hamas, whose plans and capabilities have been completely exposed, now wants a cease fire to save what is left (about 4,000 of its 9,000 rockets, among other things), but it is in the IDF’s interest not to have a cease fire now, and to nail Hamas to the wall.
Enter US Secretary of State John Kerry… our unwelcome guest…