Bennett: Hamas planning a kind of ‘Yom Kippur War’ of terror

Following the discovery of a terror tunnel leading from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon stressed Monday that the search for Hamas’s attack tunnels is the Israeli defense establishment’s highest priority.

“We are sparing no measures” to find these tunnels, the defense minister said.

The discovery of the tunnel comes two years after Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014, when the IDF entered the Gaza Strip to flush out its mortar and rocket supplies after months of persistent rocket fire on Israel, as well as to destroy a network of tunnels being dug across Israel’s southern border.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Bayit Yehudi) warned on Monday that Hamas is seeking to surprise Israel with what he dubbed as “a kind of ‘Yom Kippur War’ of terror.”

The Gaza terror organization, he said, is planning a multi-faceted attack which included penetration into Israel, killing and kidnappings.

“Our worst fears have come true,” Bennett said. “Over the two years that have passed since Operation Protective Edge, Hamas hasn’t been deterred from re-intensifying its efforts. It has made the construction of terror tunnels – penetrating deep into Israel – into a national project. This is a top national goal for them and the time has come for us to internalize that,” he continued.

Bennett also sought to demonstrate Israel’s resolve to counter the threats posed by Hamas, promising to protect the citizens of the Gaza border region and even hinting at the renewal of military hostilities. “Digging into our territory constitutes a violation of (our) sovereignty and justifies all necessary action,” he said.

“The State of Israel must provide security for the residents of the south, prevent the (threat of tunnels) at all cost, and not rely on the idea that Hamas has been deterred,” the Bayit Yehudi leader added.