Those in Israel that are familiar with Hamas tactics still underestimate their warfare abilities. A 500 kilometer underground terror tunnel network and the capability to negatively influence the world against us Jews have been some of Hamas’s successful missions. But what we fail to realize how effective they are in hiding the hostages effectively. Another strength of Hamas would be their ability to get the top leaders to easily escape with hostages from Gaza through some underground tunnels in Rafah to their handlers or anti government militias in Egypt before making their getaway to any Hamas supporting country.
During the start of the war, the IDF had hundred’s of hostages to rescue. Still I was surprised that Israel didn’t hit Rafah first. It went for the head of the snake in Gaza city not realizing that Hamas can easily escape from underground when the going gets tough during the war.
Hamas successfully hid Gilad Shalit for more than 5 years from the eyes of the IDF, the CIA and the world. In the first hundred days of the war, the IDF has succeeded to rescue only one hostage and loose three more in misidentification. Hamas’s multileveled underground tunnels weren’t just used to smuggle and hide weapons, terrorists and hostages but to create a safe getaway in Egypt before Egyptian President Sisi would notice what happened. Are we so naive to realize that Mohammad Deif and Yayha Sinwar can’t escape through these same tunnels that they use to smuggle weapons from North Korea and Afghanistan?
What would be more scary and surprising but expected is if they get most of the hostages secretly out of Gaza too with their eyes shut. We’ve already seen IDF videos of Deif’s brother driving into a Gaza tunnel. So why does escaping through Egypt not seem plausible?
During the humanitarian pause, they took their opportunity to hide the hostages better and get their top leaders into the right tunnels. Their next pause will create a greater safety blanket for them or give them a chance to make a secret escape. They will strike a hostage deal when it is convenient to them.
Sinwar and Deif will disappear into Egypt before the IDF take over Rafah. They probably already have. Secure the Gaza southern border before it is too late.