Gaza Belt farmers continue work despite Hamas threats

Farmers in the Gaza Belt continue to work as usual – a few dozen meters from the border fence – despite ongoing threats from Hamas.

While Palestinian media has reported heavy engineering tools along the Gaza side of the border, and both MKs and the media have stated Hamas is rebuilding its terror tunnels, the farmers remain unfazed. 

"We don't feel pressure," Elad Katzir, irrigation coordinator for Kibbutz Nir Oz, told Walla! News Monday. "We are used to it and working up until the last meter." 

"Today is my 40th birthday," he continued. "It's been 40 years that I've worked (the fields) and I plan to work another 40." 

"We heard rumors about digging but received no instructions from security, so we continue to work normally," he added. "The state should take care of farmers and that we can be sure that if there were no farmers, (Israel) would not be here and there would be no quiet near the fence." 

Eshkol Regional Council head Gadi Yarkoni will meet with locals Tuesday to discuss the latest developments near the fence. 

'No stupid moves'

On Sunday, Hamas released a statement Sunday stating it had boosted security "out of fear of Israeli entities, or the kidnapping of activists from the organization." 

"A true information war, Cold War-style, exists now between Hamas and Israel," Hamas officials told the daily. "Any stupid moves from Israel will cost it daily." 

One month ago, Walla! News revealed that Hamas has rebuilt most of the arsenal destroyed in Operation Protective Edge in Gaza in 2014 – some 12,000 rockets. 

Israel estimates that the number of Hamas terrorists and members of the various Hamas mechanisms in Gaza, including its civilian police force, stands at roughly 40,000 people; around half of that number are members of the terror group's Al-Qassam Brigades, with around 1,000 of them working on the tunnel digging project.

And less than 24 hours ago, Coalition chairman MK Tzahi Hanegbi (Likud) admitted that the IDF is aware of Hamas's rebuilding project – but stated that the military is training for "all possible scenarios." 


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