Israel Tries New Rationale for War

A girl with Palestine flag face paint

“Why, if Hamas leadership is underground, are the Israeli forces shelling family homes?”

Watching Operation Protective Edge move from a few air strikes to invasion and decimation of the land and people of Palestine is so reminiscent of Cast Lead and the horrors we covered then. But there’s a new theme to this round of genocide – the Israeli claim that Hamas has a huge network of tunnels enabling Hamas “terrorists” to attack Israeli locations virtually at will.

This tunnel tale has been popping up throughout the coverage over the past few days and Israel is now saying destroying the tunnels is their primary reason for their war on Gaza rather than the rockets touted last week. Of course, if you look closely at the coverage, all the tunnel information comes from Israeli official sources, not from independent analysts or reporters’ own investigation.

Take a look at Time magazine, distributing the IDF’s video of how to destroy a tunnel or check out the Washington Post doing an in-depth look at the “terror tunnels” conveniently following the IDFs press briefing on the topic on July 19th and based in large part on the “reporting” of “al-Monitor’s Shlomi Eldar.” Eldar’s orginal article portrays the tunnels as an elaborate infrastructure involving not only the smuggling tunnels we’ve all seen and which were primarily destroyed by Egypt last year but also two other types of tunnels – one to store weapons and serve as a vast underground hideaway for Hamas leaders and their families and the third, a network of tunnels that reach deep into Israel:

It was only after 13 militants from the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades penetrated Israel in an attempt to launch a terrorist attack in Kerem Shalom that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) got the green light to begin a ground assault. And it was only then that soldiers discovered there was an underground Gaza just like there was an aboveground Gaza, and that the Hamas movement had invested an enormous amount of resources into constructing that underground Gaza.

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