Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon on Monday said that no underground tunnels from the Gaza Strip have so far been located beneath Israeli homes in the South, despite recent complaints by residents in communities near the Gaza border of hearing renewed construction noises under Israeli territory.
In an interview with Israel Radio on Monday morning, Ya’alon noted that security forces were checking every related report by residents in the Gaza periphery.
The defense minister also blasted opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Zionist Union) for accusing the government of inaction on continued reconstruction of the Palestinian tunnel network destroyed by Israel during Operation Protective Edge in 2014.
“It’s also possible to strike the hundred thousand rockets that Hezbollah has or Iran’s hundreds of missiles, however judgement and responsibility must be exercised,” Israel Radio quoted Ya’alon as saying in response to Herzog’s call for action.
On sunday Herzog pointed out that residents living near the Gaza border reported hearing tunnels being dug under their homes, and that the Egyptians have bombed numerous Hamas tunnels under the Rafiah crossing.
“What are the Prime Minister and Defense Minister waiting for? For terrorists with guns drawn to emerge in a kibbutz or Moshav?” he asked.
Later on Sunday Prime Minister Netanyahu said: “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,” he added. “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.”