Thursday, August 14, 2003

Bad Things are Happening Underground in the Gaza Strip

Tunnel Vision is an article written by Jonathan Schanzer and appears in the Weekly Standard.

Here's a bit: "WITH SO MUCH RECENT FOCUS on the West Bank "separation fence," the issue that prompted Israel to build a barrier in the first place has been obscured. But as this week's suicide bombings show, the threat of continued Palestinian terror lingers. And in some cases, that threat literally lingers just beneath the surface.

For a decade now, the arsenals of Palestinian terror groups have been armed and replenished by way of short smuggling tunnels that stretch across Egypt's border with the Gaza Strip. It is this Palestinian-made labyrinth, more than the Israeli-made fence, that poses a long-term threat to Middle East peace.

To be sure, this issue is not new. After the Oslo Accords were signed in 1993, it was reported that the Palestinians had built a network of tunnels for smuggling black market items like cigarettes and drugs, as well as weaponry, explosives, and even people from Egypt to Israel.

In some cases, the tunnels are elaborate; media reports indicate that some have wood paneling, electricity, lighting systems, air ducts, communications equipment, rails, wagons--even elevators. Building them takes less than three months and costs up to $10,000. The better ones are burrowed well beneath the surface--sometimes more than 50 feet--so as to evade sonar detection by the Israeli engineer corps.

Shockingly, many of the tunnels lead into the homes of Palestinians in Gaza, concealed beneath bedrooms, living rooms, and bathrooms."

No comments:

Post a Comment