Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Everyone in Gaza knew that Hamas built weapons tunnels under UNRWA schools - since 2008!

Rafah smuggling tunnel, 2010

The Palestine Press Agency, a pro-Fatah news site that no longer exists, reported in March 2008:

 A reliable source revealed to the Palestine Press News Agency, “The outlaw Hamas movement is digging tunnels under the densely populated western camp, specifically in the Qatatuta camp area in the city of Khan Yunis, in the south of the Gaza Strip.”

The source said, "Hamas militias are digging these tunnels that lead to the UNRWA  school in the camp as part of their plan to store heavy weapons (Dushka machine guns and missiles) in tunnels under the students' schools."

The source added, "While Hamas militias were digging a tunnel in the area, they broke one of the main water pipes in the camp, which led to water leaking onto the neighboring residents, which sparked the residents' anger at these foolish actions."
A couple of months later, the same news site reported on a network of tunnels in Khan Younis that went under a number of elementary and secondary schools as well as a Gaza City tunnel underneath the Islamic University of Gaza,

This is 2008. Residents knew about it then. And there is no way they didn't know about the thousands of tunnel shafts that Hamas dug in homes, in cemeteries and in schools since then. 

In fact, in the comments, one person named Samer from Khan Younis added information about other tunnels he knew about, under mosques and houses.
Firstly, Yunus Al-Astal has at least three tunnels around his house on the eastern line. Secondly, Fawad Abu Marouf has two tunnels, one of which is Mariout in the Halima Mosque near his house, and there is another tunnel that leads to Ibn Ummah’s house east of Khan Yunis’ license. Amjad Abu Al-Tajja has a tunnel that leads in only three directions. Al-Muttaqeen Mosque in Al-Bahr Street has a large weapons storehouse supervised by Mounir Abu Hatab, an explosives storehouse in Omar Al-Najjar’s house in the Rantissi area, a lathe, a weapons storehouse, and four tunnels near Al-Salam Hospital on the eastern line road.

At the time, in 2008 and over the next several years, Western media reported on tunnels - but only on smuggling tunnels underneath the Egyptian border. As far as I recall, no one reported about tunnels wholly inside Gaza that were planned specifically as military assets and specifically to make Gza civilians into human shields above them - tunnels that were storage for weapons systems and escape routes (and bomb shelters!) for terrorists and Hamas leaders in 2008.

Yet Gaza residents knew. Everyone knew. That includes every reporter living in Gaza.  (Have you noticed any media outlet apologizing for ignoring and covering for Hamas crimes for the past decade and a half? )

And UNRWA knew this as well. The agency officially tasked with protecting "refugees" did not do a thing or say a word about weapons caches directly under their schools. Indeed, some of the commenters complained that the publication of the article - not the tunnels themselves - put students at risk because Israel would attack the tunnels. 

Let's put to bed the lie that Hamas tunnels were secretly built and that Gazans didn't know, that the UN didn't know, that reporters didn't know. Everyone in Gaza knew about them since at least 2008, and with very few exceptions, they didn't say a negative word and chose to protect Hamas, either out of solidarity or out of fear.

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