The whole world has heard by now of the huge underground city known as the Hamas terror tunnels, a network of which has been dug to emerge within Israeli kibbutzim and towns around Gaza, besides other tunnels which are “only” for smuggling goods or for hiding Hamas officials in.
Tablet Magazine now reveals to us that Hamas used child labour to build those tunnels:
It pains all reasonable people to hear of children dying as the consequence of war. Hamas and its supporters display gruesome pictures of dead and wounded children in order to gain sympathy for their portrait of Israel as the villain intent on killing Palestinians. In response, Israel cites the need to stop Hamas from firing thousands of rockets at its own children, who are being forced to live in bomb shelters, as well as the need to eliminate the tunnels that Hamas dug into Israel in order to carry out terror attacks against Israelis. One tunnel opening was found underneath an Israeli kindergarten.
But who built those tunnels? The answer is Hamas, of course—using some of the same children who are now trapped under fire in Gaza.
The Institute for Palestine Studies published a detailed report on Gaza’s Tunnel Phenomenon in the summer of 2012. It reported that tunnel construction in Gaza has resulted in a large number of child deaths.
“At least 160 children have been killed in the tunnels, according to Hamas officials”
The author, Nicolas Pelham, explains that Hamas uses child laborers to build their terror tunnels because, “much as in Victorian coal mines, they are prized for their nimble bodies”.
Human rights groups operating in Gaza raised concerns about child labor in the tunnels as far back as 2008. Hamas responded by saying it was “considering curbs.” Following Operation Cast Lead in 2009 Hamas softened its position and the Interior Ministry established the Tunnel Affairs Commission (TAC) which, “In response to public concern at a rising toll of tunnel casualties, particularly of child workers…issued guidelines intended to ensure safe working conditions.” No mention is made in the report of the conditions that would result for both Palestinian and Israeli children from building tunnels that would be used to launch terror attacks.
Nor does it seem that Hamas paid much subsequent attention to ensuring the safety of the child workers that it used to build the tunnels that would wind up endangering the lives of many in Gaza. On a tour of the tunnels in 2011, Pelham noted that, “nothing was done to impede the use of children in the tunnels.”
Not only are Hamas misappropriating much of the humanitarian aid supplied to Gaza—800,000 tons of cement were used to construct the terror tunnels into Israel—they are also directly exploiting and endangering Gaza’s youth in their construction and operation.
Here’s a tweet from the IDF spokesman showing a map of the tunnels (I presume more accurate than the graphic at the top). Note how complex and widespread they are:
We all know that Hamas planned to commit murder and kidnapping via those tunnels. What has become evident now is the utterly horrifying, even demonic, plan of Hamas: Israeli security sources confirmed that Hamas planned a mega-attack on Rosh Hashana:
Israeli Security sources say that Hamas had a plan to attack kibbutzim near the Hamas tunnel exits this coming Rosh Hashanah in a coordinated attack with an invasion force of over 200 terrorists and an objective to kill or kidnap as many Israelis as possible.
The information comes from captured prisoners who have constructed this most horrifying picture. Security sources say that Hamas plan was “lowering the State of Israel to its knees.” Prime Minster Netanyahu was reported by Israeli newspaper Maariv, as saying the goal was to use dozens of Hamas tunnels simultaneously. Tunnels have been found and dug under many kibbutzim that surround Gaza. One tunnel was even found to have its exit right next to the entrance to the dining hall of a Kibbutz.
Maariv’s sources in Israeli security confirmed Hamas had a plan to attack kibbutzim near the tunnel exits this coming Rosh Hashanah with an invasion force of over 200 terrorists. The plan was to launch the 200 terrorists at once, through dozens of tunnels, across six towns in the western Negev. In most cases the tunnel exited into the hearts of those Israeli communities. The coordinated attack would occupy the whole area and kill and/or kidnap as many Israeli civilians as possible, depending on circumstances. Abducted Israelis would be transferred via the tunnels to the Gaza Strip.
Israel Matzav adds:
The most terrifying detail is being uncovered that Hamas had a plan to attack all the settlements and kibbutzim in the area this year on Rosh Hashanah with an invasion of over 200 terrorists into almost all the settlements in the area. The tunnels went under the kibbutzim under the kindergartens and dining rooms and other areas within the kibbutz perimeters. They planned to occupy the whole area and kill as many Israeli as possible.
This could have been the worst terror attack in the history of terrorism. Thousands of people, including women and children would have been slaughtered in this planned attack.
I feel sick just to think about it. It does not bear imagining. What kind of warped, sadistic, fiendish minds came up with a diabolical plan like this? (Rhetorical question, don’t bother sending answers on a postcard…). If I were a resident of any of those communities I would never be able to sleep soundly in my bed again for fear of a terrorist popping up in my house.
So where did Hamas get hold of all that concrete? And what could they have built with it had it not all been poured down a vast hole underground? The Tablet gives us “some concrete facts about Hamas”:
Israeli troops entering Gaza last week have so far uncovered 18 tunnels used by Hamas to send armed terrorists into Israel and built using an estimated 800,000 tons of concrete.
What else might that much concrete build? Erecting Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower, required 110,000 tons of concrete. Hamas, then, could’ve treated itself to seven such monstrosities and still had a few tens of thousands of tons to spare. If it wanted to build kindergartens equipped with bomb shelters, like Israel has built for the besieged citizens of Sderot, for example—after all, noted military strategists like Jon Stewart have spent last week proclaiming that Gaza’s citizens had nowhere to hide from Israel’s artillery—Hamas could have used its leftovers to whip up about two that were each as big as Giants Stadium. And that’s just 18 tunnels. Egypt, on its end, recently claimed to have destroyed an additional 1,370. That’s a lot of concrete.
The intention behind Hamas’ tunnels is clear from where the exits are located: inside Israel. [See earlier description of their plan for a mega-attack on Rosh Hashanah – Ed.]
So, where did Hamas get all that concrete? Most of it came from you and your government. Hamas got its hands on the supplies it needed to build the tunnels after it pleaded with the international community last year to help redeem Gaza from the throes of a humanitarian crisis, caused by the fact that both Israel and Egypt closed their borders to Gaza, because both countries grew tired of having their soldiers and citizens murdered by terrorists. Needless to say, Israel’s concerns about how the concrete would be used were universally derided in the West as inflicting cruel and needless suffering on the people of Gaza—who, needless to say, didn’t receive any of the concrete for their own use. The priorities of Ismail Haniyeh’s government were crystal clear—to use all resources at their disposal to launch another war with Israel.
We are left with a harsh realization that makes so many of us, good liberal Jews reared on the principle that nothing stands outside the realm of reason, deeply uncomfortable: There’s no negotiating with Hamas. Not because of some lofty and abstract principle—we don’t negotiate with terrorists!—but because Hamas isn’t here to talk or build or heal the wounded people of Gaza. The organization’s raison d’etre is killing people in order to bring about the rule of its fundamentalist and radically intolerant brand of Islam—they shoot Jews, and they also shoot anyone else the organizations doesn’t like, including Egyptian soldiers, gays, and political opponents from other Palestinian factions.
Anyone with a genuine commitment to human rights—not to mention sympathy for the Palestinian cause—should join Israel in its efforts to rid the world of such sheer evil and topple Hamas.
Harsh words indeed but very well-said. I hope they wake up some closed minds in liberal circles.
The IDF blog gives us the price of the terror tunnels with an easy-to-read graphic:
Construction materials meant for Palestinians routinely enter Gaza from Israel. To be exact, 4,680 trucks carrying 181 thousand tons of gravel, iron, cement, wood and other supplies have passed through the Kerem Shalom crossing since the beginning of 2014.
Imagine what Hamas could build with these resources instead of tunnels. Hundreds of homes and civilian structures for the residents of Gaza go unbuilt while the underground terror network continues to expand.
Watch this video to see what Hamas themselves say about the tunnels – and what the average Gazan says when he is able to speak anonymously. Note how they hate Hamas almost as much as we do:
And here is one more video, this time not a tunnel but a booby trapped house, but with the same inhuman purpose:
Do you imagine we will now see anti-Hamas demonstrations worldwide decrying their use of child labour? Or of planning to kill hundreds of Israelis on a holy day? Can we expect a UNHRC condemnation of the use of child labour? Or of a plan to kill Jews on one of the holiest days in the calendar? Or on any day at all?
Best not hold your breath. Turning blue is not fashionable this year.