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Israeli warning on Gaza tunnels

I thought the blockade was lifted? Why the need for tunnels?
video here;
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7844497.stm

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Palestinians move supplies through tunnels at Rafah

Israel has warned of renewed military strikes on Gaza if tunnels used for smuggling in goods from Egypt are reopened by Palestinians.

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said the situation could not return to how it was before Israel's 22-day offensive in Gaza, which ended last Sunday.

But media reports say that some of the tunnels are already back in operation, with fuel being smuggled in.

Diplomats are continuing talks in Egypt aimed at finding a lasting truce.

Destroying the network of tunnels between the Gaza Strip and Egypt was one of Israel's main aims when its offensive began in late December.

The Israelis say the tunnels are used to smuggle weapons in to militants from Hamas, but the Palestinians argue that Israel's tight control of their borders means the tunnels are the only way they can get enough fuel and basic goods to survive.

Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said on Wednesday that 150 tunnels had been destroyed during the Gaza assault.

Before their offensive in Gaza was over, Israeli officials had said they had destroyed 60% to 70% of the tunnels.

But media reports now say that some tunnels are already back up and running.

TV images on Wednesday showed a truck being filled with petrol, apparently smuggled in through a tunnel.

And on Thursday, one tunnel owner told Reuters: "Soon it will be operational, I will not bring drugs or weapons, I plan to use it to bring in what people need most - food and fuel, and that is very profitable."

Israel bombed the tunnels heavily during its offensive, and Ms Livni was clear that Israel would not tolerate the resumption of smuggling.

"Things must be clear - Israel reserves the right to react militarily against the tunnels once and for all," the AFP news agency quoted her as saying.

"If we have to act, we will do so, we will exercise our right to legitimate defence, we will not leave our fate... to the Egyptians, nor to the Europeans nor to the Americans."

Sticking point

Meanwhile, Palestinian medical workers in Gaza City said at least two people had been wounded in shelling by an Israeli gunboat.

And diplomats gathered in Cairo were continuing their efforts to find a lasting ceasefire agreement for Gaza, with the issue of smuggling at the top of their agenda.

Israel is expected to urge Egypt to put an end to the practice, while Hamas is likely to demand that Israel relaxes its control over Gaza's borders.

At least 1,300 Palestinians were killed, nearly a third of them children, and 5,500 injured in the Israeli operation, which began on 27 December, Palestinian medical sources in Gaza say.

Thirteen Israelis, including three civilians, have been killed, the Israeli army says.


Click to view image: '0461bbef9f0f-081024gazatunnels.jpg'

Added: Jan-22-2009 Occurred On: Jan-22-2009
By: Japanese_Dreamz
In:
Middle East
Tags: gaza, tunnels, israel, egypt
Views: 9623 | Comments: 22 | Votes: 0 | Favorites: 0 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 1
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  • Comment of user 'easyrob33' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
    • Indeed, I suspect you're dead right. These tunnels are nothing more then logistical tails heading back to Iran.

      Posted Jan-22-2009 By 

      (8) | Report

  • Every truce has meant a rearming of hamas and more tunnels dug. The war will start again, and I sincerely hope it will not stop until it is finished. If this crap does not end soon it will bring more states into it, and it will just grow, which is exactly what hamas via Iran wants.

    Posted Jan-22-2009 By 

    (6) | Report

  • leaflet the local population and carpet bomb the whole damn bordertunnel zone now

    Posted Jan-22-2009 By 

    (6) | Report

  • if they did away with the tunnels Hamas would lose the income they get from the smugglers,even the UN mugs at least try not to let them buy arms with their aid money(I hope!)

    Posted Jan-22-2009 By 

    (3) | Report

    • or what money is still coming in from the smugglers, now Hamas mearly hijacks the aid shipment from the UN and Red Cross and sells the to the people in Gaza. And if you don't beleive me there was a article here on LL yesterday, since the newest incident took place on Wens. 21st, here's thew link:
      http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=fcf_1232579620

      Posted Jan-22-2009 By 

      (1) | Report

  • Stupid never learns from the past.
    Keep on poking the big dog!

    Posted Jan-22-2009 By 

    (2) | Report

  • Obama said:

    "In the aftermath of the Gaza conflict, he emphasised his determination to work to help consolidate the ceasefire by establishing an effective anti-smuggling regime to prevent Hamas from rearming, and facilitating, in partnership with the Palestinian Authority, a major reconstruction effort.%u201D

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/us_elections/article5563280.ece

    I wonder how that's going to happen.

    Posted Jan-22-2009 By 

    (1) | Report

  • they should walk the entire length of the border with a sonar device which penetrates the ground and detects tunnels. Then blow each tunnel up, causing it to collapse, as carefully as possible, to avoid collateral damage to nearby houses.

    Posted Jan-22-2009 By 

    (1) | Report

  • Blockade lifted? Or do you mean Israel stopped bombing?

    Posted Jan-22-2009 By 

    (-4) | Report

  • seriously, you must be a fool to believe that goods can cross the border without any complication. If that is the case then you didnt get what the Gaza dilemma is all about.

    Posted Jan-22-2009 By 

    (-6) | Report