World Bulletin / News Desk
A number of people from the Gaza Strip said Friday that they received recorded messages via phone allegedly sent from the Israeli army, inciting them against Hamas, which rules the enclave since 2007.
The Arabic-language messages said they were from the Israeli army command and accused Hamas of squandering huge funds on building tunnels, instead of providing vital services, the residents said.
“Hamas pays millions of dollars on tunnel-building, instead of spending them on providing health and education services to citizens,” the Gazans quoted the message as saying.
“That led to sharp increase in prices and costs of life and squeezed the citizens [in Gaza], the Israeli defense army command,” the message said.
On Sunday, the Israeli army said it uncovered a tunnel leading from the Gaza Strip to Israel's Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha.
The tunnel – allegedly about 15 meters deep and filled with explosives - could have been built to capture Israeli soldiers or carry out attacks inside Israel, Israeli officials said. It was one of the longest tunnels that has been exposed yet between the Palestinian territory and Israel.
In 2006, seven members of Hamas used a tunnel to infiltrate Israel and abduct soldier Gilad Shalit, who was released five years later in a prisoner swap.
In recent years, Gazans have relied on a network of underground tunnels linking the strip with Egypt's Sinai Peninsula to smuggle basic commodities and fuel into the coastal enclave, which since 2006 has suffered under a crippling Israeli siege.
Smuggling activity, however, has come to a standstill since the Egyptian army began cracking down on the tunnels following the July 3 ouster of elected President Mohamed Morsi.Last Mod: 18 Ekim 2013, 17:09