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The New Arab

Israel plans to bomb two apartment blocks in Gaza

The tunnels are used to protect civilians and transport weapons [AFP]

Date of publication: 10 August, 2017

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The head of the army in Israel's south said the apartments were being used to hide the entrances to Hamas' tunnels and had to be destroyed.
The chief of Israel's southern command told reporters on Wednesday that his forces may destroy two residential apartment blocks in Gaza in the coming weeks.

Eyal Zamir said the apartments housed the entrance to tunnels which "could be used to transport Hamas' weaponry and soldiers."

"The intelligence that we have [shows] that Hamas is operating in a civilian arena and under the cover of a civilian population, preparing its infrastructure for the next conflict within the civilian arena," Zamir said.

Zamir admitted that Israel was preparing itself for a war with Hamas and these tunnels were seen as a central part of Hamas' defence, the Times of Israel reported.

The targets are both located in built up residential areas in Beit Lahiya, north Gaza, and one building is located opposite a petrol station, raising fears of civilian deaths if the airstrikes go ahead.

Zamir's comments came a day after a rocket was launched from Gaza on Tuesday. The New Arab has reported in the past that these amateur rocket attacks are not connected to or endorsed by the Islamist organisation.

Hamas has sanctioned a massive missile building operation, ready to defend the besieged enclave in case of an attack by Israel. The majority of these missiles are kept in stockpiles in tunnels underground.

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