Israel has threatened to launch a new strike against Gaza after having failed to diminish Hamas’s power through three weeks of offensive.
“During the operation that we have carried out in the Gaza Strip we have destroyed 150 tunnels, including some which were targeted several times…If we are forced to, there will be more attacks,” said Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Wednesday.
Israel fought a three-week long war against Hamas allegedly to destroy the movement’s military power. It launched hundreds of attacks on several tunnels and homes in the southern Gaza Strip “to destroy the tunnels through which Hamas brings arms into the region”.
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Palestinians, however, say the tunnels are used to import food to the besieged populated territory which has been under an 18-month Israeli blockade.
Earlier in the day AP Television News footage showed Palestinians filling a fuel truck with petrol that came through a cross-border tunnel from Egypt.
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The footage also showed workers busy clearing blocked tunnels and bulldozers carrying out other repairs.
While Israel claims that 80 percent of the tunnels were destroyed during Operation Cast Lead, Yuval Diskin, head of Israel’s internal security service (Shin Bet), said formerly that the “The operation did not deal an irreversible blow to the tunnel industry,” and Hamas could still rearm itself.
Hamas had also vowed to resume arming, saying “the manufacturing of holy weapons is our goal.”
The Israeli 22-day offensive which killed more than 1,300 people including 460 children across the Gaza Strip has finally failed to achieve the primary goals including “halting rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip”.