Netanyahu: If we are attacked from the tunnels in the Gaza Strip we will respond with great force against Hamas

Hamas threaten to resume terror activity against Israel following tunnel collapse which killed 7 of their militants; Addressing Israeli diplomats, Netanyahu assures all security measures being taken and “great force” to be used to defend Israel

Prime Minister Netanyahu (Reuters)

Prime Minister Netanyahu (Reuters)

Netanyahu warned Hamas that Israel will respond with “great force” if the terrorist organization continues its construction of terror tunnels. Netanyahu addressed Israeli diplomats Sunday following reports from Hamas that seven of their militants died over the weekend while reconstructing a tunnel.

Netanyahu assured that “We are working methodically and calmly against all threats, including threats from Hamas, both with defensive and offensive measures.”

The Prime Minister warned, “If we are attacked from the tunnels in the Gaza Strip we will respond with great force against Hamas, with much greater force then we used during Operation Protective Edge. I think they understand this in the region, and in the world. I hope we do not need to do this, but our defensive and offensive capabilities are developing rapidly, and I do not suggest that anyone test us.”

Over the weekend Hamas released a video of militants constructing and reconstructing its terror tunnel network in the Gaza Strip, boasting of the worker’s “toiling day and night”, swearing to resume attacks on Israel.

During a funeral for the militants killed during the tunnel collapse, senior Hamas official Ismail Haniyeh swore “The Hamas military wing will continue with its preparations both underground and above ground. On land and at sea, we will not stop until the liberation of the holy places.”

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon responded to Hamas’s threats to resume its terror activity against Israel. He stated that “such statements and actions put at risk reconstruction, humanitarian and development efforts by the international community and Palestinian and Israeli authorities. They also do a serious disservice to the long-suffering people of Gaza.”

During Operation Protective Edge over the summer of 2014, Israel’s Defense Force destroyed 32 terror tunnels, 14 of the tunnels with openings into Israeli territory. Hamas’s terror tunnel construction is financially supported by Iran and reports of funding from Hezbollah. According to reports by the IDF, each tunnel cost around $3 million to construct.