The Israelis will likely kill the Hamas leaders for invading Israel, killing two soldiers and kidnapping another. And there’s no chance now that they will pull out of the West Bank – it would be suicidal to give up the tunnel-proof Jordan and give tunnelers access to over half of Israel’s land border. We can thank the EU for this.
Hamas leaders aren’t happy – they’re bolting for cover (my emphasis, WSJ, $):
Hamas’s official charter calls for the destruction of Israel and its replacement with an Islamic state…
The Qassam Brigades in Gaza are now led by a fiery man named Ahmed al Jaabri. Mr. al Jaabri apparently takes his orders from Senior Hamas members say he has little if any contact with Hamas politicians…
This is the old IRA political wing/armed wing trick – Adams ran (and runs) both wings. A covert unified command gives maximum political and military leverage, plus deniability for the benefit of the useful idiots.
The result was clear from the weekend operation the Qassam Brigades were part of — a strike they termed as retaliation for a string of Israeli military operations in Gaza. The tunnel the militants dug ran some 800 meters, just under half of which was beneath Israeli territory. The militants who emerged from the tunnel were armed with machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and other explosives.
In all, the operation lasted about 10 minutes, according to Israeli officials. The surviving militants escaped back into Gaza with the Israeli soldier by blowing a hole in the security fence and walking through.
The tunnel will have taken months to complete, so had nothing to do with recent Palestinian collaterals.
Digging and spoil removal had to be done in absolute silence, without electrical gear (Israel has surface arrays of acoustic and MA detectors), and the entry point and spoil removal system had to be shielded from visual & radar detection by Israeli drones and satellites. That takes serious money and EU help to transport it (my emphasis):
…in recent weeks Hamas ministers have smuggled some $30 million into Gaza, which has slightly relieved the economic hardship there and enabled the PA to pay $400-$500 to its workers…Israel had given the Egyptians and European monitors at the Rafah crossing information that the money was being brought in, but that they did nothing to stop it.
A top EU official said last week that the European monitors were there only to supervise the crossing, not to take police-type action like the confiscation of suitcases filled with money.
It’s odd to see the EU – which intervenes in member states at every opportunity – taking such a relaxed view of its duties. Maybe that’s because it was directly involved in the actual funding of the terrorists (my emphasis):
The EU is to resume its subventions to the Palestinian Authority (PA) – despite having recently passed a series of laws against financing terrorism, and despite the fact that Hamas, which runs the PA, is on its own list of designated terrorist organisations.
Eurocrats are aware of the awkwardness, and are trying to find a way to stay within the letter of the rules, perhaps by funneling the donations through NGOs.
So the EU’s Funneling For Tunneling has undermined any future Palestinian state. What a shame.