The Bible Teaching Ministry of David Hocking
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SANCTIFIED THROUGH SACRIFICE – THE HOLINESS OF THE IDF UNIFORM

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

SANCTIFIED THROUGH SACRIFICE – THE HOLINESS OF THE IDF UNIFORM
Fundamentally Freund (Jerusalem Post)

Seventy years ago, Jews were being gassed at Auschwitz and worked to death at Majdanek. Now, they put on the IDF uniform and proudly bear arms, fighting back against those who seek our destruction.

Looking at the hardy fabric, I picked it up and held it in my hand, assessing its texture like an expert jeweler scrutinizing a precious stone. But before I knew it, my thoughts had strayed, wandering from the material in my grasp to more cerebral matters of the mind. And a few poignant subjects of the heart.

This, I told myself, is what my son had worn during his foray into Hamastan, from where he and his unit had thankfully emerged unscathed.

This is the attire that he had slept and fought in, this is the garb that he was unable to change for weeks on end, as it absorbed his sweat along with his experiences.

His uniform, I suddenly realized, had an irrevocable bond with him – one that I could not, and will not, ever have.

This unassuming piece of clothing had been to war with him and back, while I, his father, could do little more than pray and worry from afar.

The simple fact that he was wearing this uniform, which identified him as an Israeli, was enough to prompt Palestinian gunmen and snipers to fire at him.

“What have I done?” I asked myself in an impulsive moment of guilt. My boy, the child whom I had brought to live in Israel when he was barely a year old, was performing military service and risking his life for cause and country, while young people his age back in America were partying their way through college.

This uniform, this collection of threads, more than anything else, symbolized the sacrifice he was making, giving three of the best years of his life to protect the Land of Israel and the People of Israel.

“Have I done the right thing?” I wondered, posing a question that parents down through the ages have used to torment themselves. I gripped the uniform ever more firmly, closing my hand in a fist, as if to punish it for my very own deeds.

But the Zionist within me would have none of it, swatting away the fleeting dose of self-imposed guilt, bringing me back firmly to a much better reality.

For God’s sake, it berated me, don’t you realize what you hold in your hands? It is a piece of Jewish history, an item that countless Jews for the past 2,000 years could only dream of: A Jewish uniform that belongs to a Jewish army tasked with defending Jews in their own land.

What could possibly be more holy? Seventy years ago, Jews were being gassed at Auschwitz and worked to death at Majdanek. Now, they put on the IDF uniform and proudly bear arms, fighting back against those who seek our destruction.

These garments, which represented the revolution in Jewish existence that had taken place when we regained our sovereignty in 1948, the ones that only a moment ago had caused me to question some of my major life decisions, began to take on a new importance.

The IDF uniform, such as the one I held in my hand, had restored our national pride and reinvigorated our collective sense of destiny. It symbolized the return of the Jewish people to the world stage, and the end of our dependence on the mercy of others, a tangible precursor to the Messianic era.

My grip began to loosen.

And then I remembered two very special stories about rabbinical giants from two very different worlds, both of which underline how essential it is to appreciate what a special generation we are privileged to live in.

Once, a student approached the late haredi leader Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach to seek permission to travel to the Galilee while yeshiva was in session, in order to pray at the graves of the righteous.

After listening to the query, he replied, “To pray at the graves of the righteous, you don’t need to go to the Galilee. You can go instead to Mount Herzl, to the graves of the soldiers who died in sanctification of God’s name.”

And then there is an incident involving the late Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, head of the RIETS rabbinical school at New York’s Yeshiva University. Known as “the Rav,” he was a pivotal figure in American Orthodoxy.

Once he was visited by a student who served in the IDF and whose job was cleaning and maintaining the tanks. Often his uniform would get dirty and he wanted to know if he needed to change his clothing before reciting the afternoon Minha prayer. The student explained that while it would be possible for him to do so, it would be difficult and very inconvenient.

Astonished, the Rav looked at the student and said, “Why would you need to change? You are wearing bigdei kodesh, holy clothes.”

Indeed, it may be hard for the modern mind to conceive of a piece of clothing as bearing holiness, particularly in our day and age, when the fashion industry has taught us to see the wardrobe as an enhancement of physical beauty.

But the IDF uniform is truly unique. It has been elevated to a special status by centuries of Jewish yearning, and sanctified through the sacrifice of countless young Israeli men and women who have fought to defend this country.

It is not merely a shirt and a pair of pants, but a badge of honor for all who wear it, one that provides our society with a sense of existential cohesion and purpose.

What parent would not be proud to see his child adorn this set of clothes? Normally, it is sons who look up to their fathers as larger than life, flesh-and-blood heroes.

But as I carefully laid the uniform back down on the chair, tenderly flattening its creases and crinkles, I realized that when your son comes home from a war in defense of the Jewish people, the opposite is no less true.

EGYPT’S 11 POINT CEASEFIRE PLAN REVEALED

Friday, August 15th, 2014

EGYPT’S 11 POINT CEASEFIRE PLAN REVEALED
By Elad Benari, Canada

The Egyptian newspaper Al-Shourouq published on Friday afternoon what it said was an 11-point plan proposed by Egypt to Israel and Hamas in order to bring about a long-term ceasefire in Gaza.

According to the report, the 11 points are as follows:

1. Israel will stop the attacks in Gaza, from sea, land and air. There will be no ground entries of Israeli troops into Gaza.

2. All the factions in Gaza will stop the attacks on Israel by land, sea and air. The construction of the terror tunnels will be stopped as well.

3. Movement of people and goods for the purpose of rebuilding Gaza will be permitted, as well as trade of goods from Judea and Samaria and Gaza, and vice versa, in accordance with the principles to be agreed upon between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA).

4. Israeli authorities will coordinate with the Palestinian Authority any matters related to finances and the reconstruction of Gaza.

5. Elimination of the buffer zone in northern and eastern Gaza and deployment of the Palestinian Authority’s security forces starting January 1, 2015.

6. Freedom of fishing and movement in the territorial waters of Gaza within six miles. The range will be gradually increased to no less than 12 miles, in coordination between the PA and Israel.

7. Israeli authorities will assist the Palestinian Authority in rebuilding the damaged infrastructure in Gaza, and will help meet the needs of those who were forced to flee their homes because of the fighting. In addition, Israel will provide urgent medical assistance to the wounded, and bring in food and humanitarian aid to Gaza.

8. The Palestinian Authority in coordination with the Israeli authorities and international organizations will provide the basic products needed to rehabilitate Gaza, according to a defined schedule that will allow for the rapid return of displaced persons to their homes as soon as possible.

9. Egypt urges the international community to provide urgent humanitarian assistance and raise the funds needed to rebuild Gaza, according to a defined schedule.

10. After the ceasefire is stabilized and normal life resumes in Gaza, the two sides will complete the indirect talks in Cairo, within one month from the date of the agreement which has not yet been signed.

11. Ways to set up and operate an airport and a seaport in Gaza, in accordance with the Oslo Accords and other previous agreements, will be discussed.

According to Channel 2 News, Israel and the PA have not yet submitted their response to the Egyptian proposal. Diplomatic sources in Jerusalem told the channel that Israel has not yet agreed to any proposal.

“Israel insists that any agreements clearly express Israel’s security needs,” they stressed.

Earlier Friday, an Islamic Jihad spokesperson claimed that a truce deal with Israel will be signed as soon the current five-day ceasefire ends next Monday at midnight.

The statements come after Islamic Jihad second-in-command Ziad Nahala said Friday the war with Israel is “behind us,” adding “we have no choice but to reach a truce agreement.”

However, another senior Islamic Jihad terrorist, Halad al-Batash, said Thursday night that his organization may embark on a long-term ceasefire even if a long-term truce deal is not reached with Israel.

The statement roughly mirrors that of Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home), who on Friday pushed for a unilateral end of the Gaza operation without an agreement with Hamas, accompanied by several Israeli concessions and an essential return to the status quo.

BENNETT CALLS TO UNILATERALLY END GAZA OPERATION

Friday, August 15th, 2014

BENNETT CALLS TO UNILATERALLY END GAZA OPERATION
by Ari Yashar (IsraelNationalNews)

As the Security Cabinet meeting in the Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem ended Friday morning, Cabinet member and Economics Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) called for Israel to unilaterally end Operation Protective Edge.

The minister said Israel should stop the operation without an agreement with Hamas, allowing the IDF to continue actions against the terror tunnels in Gaza while easing the blockade of the Hamas terror enclave.

Bennett claimed that the unilateral opening of border crossings between Israel and Gaza, as well as the expansion of the Gaza naval fishing zone, could give Israel international legitimization. He argued that such concessions made unilaterally would not be as damaging to Israel politically and militarily as if they were made in a truce deal with Hamas.

“If Hamas will understand that we have durability, it will end in days,” Bennett said, according to Walla!. “The situation between Israel and Hamas is completely asymmetrical – they lost most of their tunnels and rockets, but the IDF can continue and increase its response power.”

Bennett added “we won’t make an agreement that harms our right to damage the terror tunnels,” noting on the extensive web of tunnels exposed during Operation Protective Edge that were lethally employed by the terrorists against the IDF.

Those tunnels were reportedly intended to be used in a plan to launch a massacre on communities near Gaza on Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year. While over 30 tunnels were destroyed in the operation, those include only the tunnels found by the IDF up till now.

The call for unilateral action comes after Bennett on Thursday likewise called to “open up the crossings into Gaza for humanitarian equipment, and respond with disproportionate force to any fire on the southern communities.”

While Bennett’s call appears to basically signify a return to the status quo before the operation, aside from the concessions and continued ability to attack terror tunnels, around 10,000 Israelis poured into downtown Tel Aviv late Thursday, calling for the government to end the attacks from Gaza once and for all by taking decisive action.

The war is over?

Bennett’s comments come the same Friday that Islamic Jihad second-in-command Ziad Nahala said the war with Israel is “behind us.” The night before, Nahala said Egypt talked Israel out of its security demands to disarm Gaza, end the smuggling into the Hamas enclave and the local weapons production, as well as have the terror tunnels disclosed.

An Israeli proposal presented to the Palestinian Authority (PA), Hamas and Islamic Jihad delegation in Cairo was reported by the Palestinian Arab Ma’an News Agency on Friday.

According to it, Israel stipulated that border crossings between it and Gaza would be opened, but only with a detailed agreement with the PA. The move apparently echoes an Egyptian offer to have the PA monitor the Rafah Crossing to Sinai.

The reported proposal also would have Israel gradually cancel the “periphery” no-entry zone on the Gaza side of the border, meant to prevent terrorist infiltration, and supply aid to the PA in rebuilding Gaza.

ISLAMIC JIHAD WEIGHING LONG-TERM CEASEFIRE WITHOUT TRUCE

Friday, August 15th, 2014

ISLAMIC JIHAD WEIGHING LONG-TERM CEASEFIRE WITHOUT TRUCE
by Ari Yashar (Arutz Sheva News)

Almost in parallel of Economics Minister Naftali Bennett’s (Jewish Home) plan to unilaterally end the Gaza operation without a truce agreement with Hamas, a senior member of the Islamic Jihad said his group is also considering a long-term ceasefire, even without a deal.

The senior Islamic Jihad terrorist, Halad al-Batash, said Thursday night that his organization may put down their arms for now and accept a long-term ceasefire even in the absence of a truce deal with Israel, reports Walla!.

In the interview with Al Mayadeen, al-Batash stated “we decided not to sign on an agreement that would be bad for the Palestinians. If our demands are not answered, we will examine the possibility of a long-term ceasefire, so as to defend the sons of our nation.”

Al-Batash revealed that Israel offered to concede to the demand for a sea and airport in Gaza in return for the demilitarization of the terror enclave, an offer which was refused.

Likewise, “any demand to leave any periphery area – even of one meter” was rejected according to al-Batash, referring to the no-entry area on the Gaza side of the border instituted to prevent terrorist infiltration. According to reports in the Palestinian Arab Ma’an News Agency of an Israeli proposal, the Jewish state agreed to gradually cancel the periphery area.

If needed, Islamic Jihad is ready for a long war of attrition against Israel according to al-Batash.

However, in contrast to his appraisal, Islamic Jihad second-in-command Ziad Nahala said Friday that the war with Israel “is behind us,” adding “we have no choice but to reach a truce agreement.”

“The great destruction caused by the war obligates us to leave this (war) status,” said Nahala, who added that the Gaza terror groups would get to keep their weapons in a proposed agreement, claiming “our achievements from the war are acceptable to the Palestinian people.”

Whether Hamas is thinking along the same lines as Islamic Jihad remains unclear.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon on Thursday assessed that the Palestinian Arab delegation “is a delegation with five heads, which includes the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and various Hamas factions.”

OBAMA SAYS HUMANITARIAN CRISIS HAS BEEN AVERTED!

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

OBAMA SAYS HUMANITARIAN CRISIS HAS BEEN AVERTED!

WASHINGTON – The humanitarian crisis facing religious minorities stranded on a mountaintop in northern Iraq has been averted, US President Barack Obama said on Thursday, after the US Air Force conducted strikes on terrorists at its base and delivered seven tranches of much-needed aid.

Obama said the US had broken the Islamic State’s attempted siege of Iraq’s Yazidi minority.

“We helped vulnerable people reach safety and we helped save many innocent lives,” Obama said at a press briefing in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.

“Because of these efforts we do not expect there to be an additional operation to evacuate people off the mountain and it’s unlikely we are going to need to continue humanitarian airdrops on the mountain.”

The US military had been strategizing how best to guide the Yazidis from their refuge atop Mount Sinjar, where American officials feared a genocide might occur without military action.

US special forces were sent to the site to gauge the needs of the refugees and the population trapped there.

Obama said the US military would continue to protect American assets in and around Arbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Region, where the US has a consulate.

More than a dozen air strikes targeted Islamic State near Arbil, the State Department said on Thursday afternoon.

“We said we would break the siege of Mount Sinjar, and indeed have,” State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said, calling the development “a little bit of good news.”

Earlier in the day, Islamic State gunmen were massing near the Iraqi town of Qara Tappa, 122 km. north of Baghdad, security sources and a local official said, in an apparent bid to engage with more Kurdish Peshmerga fighters.

The Sunni insurgents have in the past few weeks made a dramatic push through the north to a position near Arbil.

The movement around Qara Tappa suggests they are getting more confident and seek to grab more territory closer to the city after stalling in that region.

“The Islamic State is massing its militants near Qara Tappa,” said one of the security sources. “It seems they are going to broaden their front with the Kurdish fighters.”

Islamic State has been using tunnels built by Saddam Hussein in the 1990s to secretly move fighters, weapons and supplies from strongholds in western Iraq to towns just south of Baghdad.

The Sunni terrorist group, made up of Iraqis, other Arabs and foreign fighters, has threatened to march on Baghdad, part of its ambition to redraw the map of the Middle East and impose its radical version of Islam.

HAMAS MUST BE ROOTED OUT AND DESTROYED!

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

HAMAS MUST BE ROOTED OUT AND DESTROYED!
by Yoni Kempinski, Ari Yashar (Arutz Sheva News)

Arutz Sheva recently got the chance to sit down with Bruce Blakeman, a candidate for the Fourth Congressional District of New York, to discuss the increasingly tense relations between the American Administration and Israel.

Blakeman appraised that US President Barack Obama and US Secretary of State John Kerry are on the “far-left of the political spectrum…they are pro-Palestinian.” The Congressman-hopeful said that regardless of that fact, Hamas “has to be rooted out and destroyed, or there will never be peace.”

An agreement with Hamas or the Palestinian Authority (PA) won’t bring peace and “is a mistake,” said Blakeman, noting the pressure the US is exerting on Israel to seal such an agreement.

Reports in the Wall Street Journal Wednesday night revealed that the pressure has gone as far as Obama’s Administration blocking a Hellfire missile shipment to Israel, and ordering closer scrutiny of future arms transfers to the Jewish state.

In contrast to Obama’s position, Blakeman noted “I’m a Republican; I’m proud to be a Republican. I’m a Jew; I’m proud to be a Jew. …If elected I will fight for Israel.” He added that his district has the highest Jewish population of any US Congressional district.

On his statement of candidacy, found on his website, Blakeman declared “I decided to run because I believe we need to elect a member of congress who will be a check and balance to President Obama and the Democrats in congress, not someone who will just rubber stamp everything the President does.”

“America should strike Iran’s nuclear program”

Speaking on another issue, Blakeman remarked that Iran’s nuclear weapons program “is the biggest problem right now.”

Noting that Iran has openly threatened to destroy Israel, the Congressional candidate added that stopping the Islamic regime in its pursuit of nuclear weapons is an American interest too, given that Iran’s nuclear program is “a danger to the world.”

Blakeman vowed to push for tougher sanctions on Iran if he is elected, and said that if the sanctions do not work within a given time, “I believe America should take military action…to take out their nuclear weapons program.”

Finally, Blakeman noted the challenge presented by the “far-left” control of global media; the inaccurate reporting on Operation Protective Edge has led global anti-Semitic incidents to spike by 383% last month, as compared to the same month last year.

“You would think, intellectually, that people who claim to care about human rights and civil rights, would be supporting Israel. But instead, they support a terror organization,” said Blakeman, reminding that Hamas aims to destroy Israel and impose its radical Islam on the entire world.

NETANYAHU NOT COMPROMISING DESPITE US ANTICS

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

NETANYAHU NOT COMPROMISING DESPITE US ANTICS
by Shlomo Pyotrkovsky, Ari Yashar (Arutz Sheva News)

Deputy Transportation Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) on Thurdsay responded to reports in the Wall Street Journal Wednesday night, which revealed that US President Barack Obama’s Administration blocked a weapons transfer to Israel.

According to the US and Israeli officials cited in the report, Obama halted a batch of Hellfire missiles that were requested in military-to-military channels as common in such transfers, and ordered future Israeli requests to be carefully scrutinized.

Lending her support to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Hotovely remarked that he “is acting correctly by not compromising on the personal security interests of the state, even if that doesn’t find favor in the eyes of certain members of the American administration.”

“Despite the arguments, some of which even cross the lines of professionalism, the United States and Israel have shared interests, particularly in light of the instability of the Middle East,” added Hotovely.

While Hotovely spoke out in support of Netanyahu’s refusal to compromise, Israel on Wednesday night agreed to a further five-day extension of the ceasefire with Hamas amid US pressure to do so, and despite the terror organization’s breach of the ceasefire hours before and after the ceasefire went into effect.

Following the rocket attacks Wednesday night, Hotovely said “Israel cannot be a prisoner of Hamas. Operation Protective Edge must end with a mortal blow to Hamas’s capabilities, eliminating the leaders of Hamas and achieving deterrence.”

Further doubts were raised about Netanyahu’s willingness to stand firm on Israel’s security interests after he met with party chair coalition members on Tuesday, in what one minister term “softening talks” to gain support for Israeli concessions.

Obama called Netanyahu shortly before the current ceasefire went into effect to push for a “sustainable” ceasefire. According to US officials cited in the Wall Street Journal report, that Wednesday night phone call was “particularly combative.”

ISRAELI OFFICIALS: OBAMA IS WEAK AND NAIVE

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

ISRAELI OFFICIALS: OBAMA IS WEAK AND NAIVE
by Ryan Jones (Israel Today News)

Obama, Palestinians irked by Romney remarks on Jerusalem
Israeli views of Obama increasingly unfavorable

Israeli officials responding to the latest pressure from US President Barack Obama said the American leader is weak and naive, suggesting that Washington, which today has little leverage anywhere else in the Middle East, is trying to strong-arm the Jewish state.

The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday reported that the Obama Administration had held up a delivery of missiles to Israel during its war against Gaza’s Hamas terrorist infrastructure.

In a phone call with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the same day, Obama reportedly repeated his demand that Israel implement an immediate, unilateral, unconditional and permanent ceasefire in Gaza.

The frozen missile shipment would appear to be a pressure tactic to get Israel to acquiesce to Obama’s demands, which Israeli officials have said only serve the interests of Hamas and terrorists throughout the region.

The month-long Gaza war was rife with diplomatic confrontations between Israel and the United States.

When Secretary of State John Kerry proposed a ceasefire deal drawn up in coordination with Hamas allies Turkey and Qatar, Israelis from the highest levels of government to the average man on the street were left wondering if America was still their ally.

Officials on both sides have been frantically working to downplay the worsening relations.

“The allegations are unfounded,” said Israel’s ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer. “Israel deeply appreciates the support we have received during the recent conflict in Gaza from…the Obama Administration.”

“We know nothing of this,” an Israeli government official told 0404 News in relation to the Journal report, claiming that “relations between Netanyahu and Obama are much improved.”

But the Israeli press was unimpressed by the denials, and news of the “deepening rift” between America and the Jewish state was the leading headline on nearly every Israeli media outlet Thursday morning.

Many speculated that Netanyahu knows well the workings of the American government, and is content to wait out a hostile Obama White House knowing that Congress will shield Israel from any truly severe measures.

DID ISRAEL WIN THE GROUND WAR AND LOSE THE PR WAR WITH HAMAS?

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

DID ISRAEL WIN THE GROUND WAR AND LOSE THE PR WAR WITH HAMAS?

While Israel took its share of abuse in the world press, particularly in the early days of the conflict, Hamas’s behavior was so blatantly irresponsible and cruel to its civilians in Gaza that even mainstream media like CNN and the New York Times were forced to report the truth.

Virtually every major U.S. news outlet eventually reported on Hamas’s practice of launching rocket attacks from heavily populated urban centers, including mosques, schools, hospitals and residential areas.

Some reporters even were bold enough to confront Hamas and other Palestinian spokespeople about the terror group’s war crimes. Their responses of course inevitably came off as lame and uncredible.

The Times also noted that the Hamas-reported death toll in Gaza was not balanced among general population groups—in fact, some 34% of Gazans killed by Israeli attacks (and misfired Hamas rockets) were males 20-29 years old (of fighting age), though this group represents only 9% of the population. Israel reports that about half the Palestinian deaths (some 900) were militants.

Let’s note also that Israel’s spokespeople—U.S. Ambassador Ron Dermer, UN Ambassador Ron Prosser and former U.S. Ambassador Michael Oren—were everywhere on U.S. news programs articulately explaining Israel’s position and hammering home the facts on the battlefield. Those who rightfully lament the Jewish state’s often weak PR efforts had reason to be proud.

But PR aside, Israel won the first round of fighting with Hamas hands down and will undoubtedly win the rest of them. Thanks to Hamas’s fanaticism and political stupidity, Gaza lies in ruins. If they refuse to accept a lasting cease fire, let alone a peace treaty, Israel’s continuing retaliation could leave the territory in the Stone Age.

Israel will also likely emerge from the hostilities overall in a stronger position internationally, both in terms of military power and political leverage. However, many nations, including the Europeans, still cannot stomach a strong Israel defeating “poor” Arab aggressors.

HAMAS EXECUTES DOZENS OF “TERROR TUNNEL” DIGGERS

Monday, August 11th, 2014

HAMAS EXECUTES DOZENS OF “TERROR TUNNEL” DIGGERS
by Arutz Sheva Staff

In an attempt to protect their secrets from being revealed to the Israeli security forces, Hamas has executed tens of Gazan tunnel diggers in the last few weeks. The mass execution is said to have taken place after attempts from Hamas to make sure that the excavators knew nothing of the locations in which they were digging.

According to the Israeli website Mako, extreme precautions were used by Hamas.

“They would take the diggers, about a hundred men, in vans with blindfolds so that they wouldn’t know the location of the tunnels and at the end of the day would blindfold them again and return them to their homes,” claims a source in Gaza familiar with the tunnel industry. “They feared that maybe one of them was collaborating with Israel.”

The tunnels were guarded by Hamas, via its military wing and commando units which were created in the last two years, and citizens were prevented entry as the whole process was done in the utmost secrecy. It appears, however, that Hamas may have been correct in assuming that some of the experienced terror-tunnel diggers, mostly from the Rafah and Khan Younis areas, were double agents.

According to M., a former tunnel digger and Israeli collaborator, the extent to which Hamas was willing to go to protect its secrets grew immensly due to the concern that information was being transferred to the Israeli Intelligence forces. Thus, the Hamas terrorists were always masked so that they could not be recognized by the excavators and the latter would go through daily strip searches to ensure that they were not wearing recording devices or hidden cameras. “They knew Israel was constantly tailing them and didn’t want to risk it,” he says.

Diggers worked on average between 8-12 hours with breaks and received a monthly wage of $150-$300. Most tunnels were built under civilian homes, chicken coops and pens which were located about two kilometers away from the border with the Gaza strip. Once they were done digging, Hamas executed dozens of the tunnel diggers who were suspected collaborators with Israel.

“They were very cruel,” the Gazan source added. “They annihilated some of the diggers because there was a rumor circulating that a few of them had worked with Israel or had been in touch with Israeli civilians. They feared that Israel would know the location of the tunnels and who was involved in their making”.

During Operation Protective Edge, the IDF along with the Israel Security Agency captured around 300 terrorists among whom were dozens of tunnel diggers.


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