Robert Festenstein


Day 65. If anything symbolises the terror that is Hamas it is their tunnels.  Everything about them is vile.  The diversion of humanitarian funds to build them.  Their whole purpose is to bring death and torture and at the same time, hide from those who seek out those responsible.  The theft of fuel for hospitals to power the air-conditioning so the tunnels can continue to be used.  And now, the revelation that they were used to imprison hostages taken from Israel by a war crime on the 7th October 2023 where they were sexually assaulted.

It has been reported by an Israeli doctor after treating some of the released 110 hostages that At least 10 of them released by Hamas – both men and women – were sexually assaulted or abused while being held in the tunnels.

Estimates of the network of the tunnels are as high as 300 miles.  To get some idea of the extent of this, compare it to the London Underground, a network of 250 miles, some 50 miles less.  Imagine then the amount of cash and other resources needed to produce such an endeavour.  Imagine the determination to sink all this effort into producing this system knowing that the alternative would have been roads, schools, hospitals or even simply better roads.

The tunnels then are the beating heart of the Hamas war machine which is why they have to be destroyed or disabled.  That is why the effort is concentrated on them, and that is why so many civilian buildings, such as schools and Mosques have been targeted, because that is exactly where Hamas put them.  There has been talk of flooding the tunnels to make them unusable and the predictable response that this is somehow genocide and will also kill the hostages.  If killing Hamas terrorists was the objective then why advertise it in advance?  No point.

By announcing beforehand, Hamas will empty the tunnels both of their own people and any hostages held there.  Their own people as they are only interested in civilians becoming ‘martyrs’ and the hostages to maintain their leverage.  Once empty, Israel can destroy the tunnels whilst preserving human life.  That thought process is too sophisticated for the likes of many media outlets, including of course the BBC.  I looked at their website yesterday in the Israel-Gaza war section and ran a search on the word ‘tunnel’.  Nothing came up. No surprise there, since the BBC many weeks ago gave up on even trying report impartially and took to running a campaign against Israel.

By ignoring the tunnels, the BBC is missing (or ignoring) a significant factor in the IDF strategy in this war.  The tunnels are, as I have said the beating heart of the Hamas war machine.  When it comes to war objectives, these tunnels have to be an absolute priority.  Tunnels are for killing; they are placed in civilian areas and when they are destroyed, sadly, civilians sometimes are killed or wounded.  It is well recorded how hard the IDF try to warn civilians to evacuate a mosque or other public building ahead of any attack, and also how Hamas try just as hard to prevent them from leaving.  So much better for Hamas for the civilians to be killed.  It is so easy to understand yet just as easy to ignore.

Only when Hamas is eliminated will we truly be able to celebrate, and for as long as the tunnels exist that celebration will be delayed.

About the Author
Robert Festenstein is a solicitor based in Manchester with considerable experience in Court actions. He is active in fighting the increase in anti-Semitism in the UK and is President of the Zionist Central Council, an organisation devoted to promoting and defending the democratic State of Israel.