Israeli Targets Gaza's Hidden Tunnels

Still soaring out of Gaza on a whoosh and a white plume, every rocket aimed at Israel is another reminder of an enemy supply line the Israeli military can't seem to cut, even though Hamas is surrounded.

Just south of where CBS News correspondent Richard Roth reported from, Gaza's 25-mile long Mediterranean Sea coast is sealed off by an Israeli naval blockade.

Gunboats off shore command the sea, and block access to Gaza's port.

All along their land border, high-tech fences and constant patrols separate Israel and Gaza.

And, helped by $23 million of American aid last year, Egypt too has beefed up security along its short frontier.

So Gazans get over their border by going under it, through a network of tunnels that runs from buildings on their side deep under the ground - and the border fence - to hideaways in Egypt.

"These tunnels are not just foxholes," said Maj. Ron Edelheit, an Israeli Army spokesman. "They are very complicated structures. They're long. They have electricity. They have trails and tracks going through them."

Stretching as far as three quarters of a mile, the underground interstate is big enough for a barnyard of livestock to be smuggled through.

That's not what bothers Israel.

"Food? Who cares; but when we talk about bombs and rockets and TNT and C4 and you name it, that terrorizes the Israeli population that surrounds it, this is not something the state of Israel can live by," Edelheit said.

To win the war, Israel says it needs to stop the smuggling of arms and explosives.

Military sources believe aerial bombardment so far has destroyed about 200 tunnels. But 100 more may still be in use.
  • Richard Roth

Comments

Follow Us

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.

On Twitter