Reports: Israel Lured Hamas Fighters Into Tunnels With Rumor Of Ground Invasion, Then Bombed Tunnels In Massive Airstrike
“160 aircraft flying simultaneously conducted a massive attack on a network of tunnels dug by the Hamas terror group after ambiguous IDF statement caused media frenzy that Israel has launched ground invastion.”
The Israeli military apparently used a brilliant deceptive maneuver to take out Hamas’s terrorist fighting force and underground tunnels — in a single blow.
In what could only be described as killing two birds with one stone, the Israel Defense Forces on Thursday night told news reporters that the Israeli ground forces were on their way to Hamas-held Gaza.
The news spread quickly through the mainstream media and affiliated social media accounts. Believing an Israeli ground invasion to be imminent, Hamas ordered its terrorist fighters to seek shelter in the tunnel network dug up under the Gaza city.
What followed the Hamas mobilization was a massive wave of Israeli airstrikes — comprising of 160 aircraft — on the Gaza tunnel network with the jihadi group’s top terror brass sitting underground, right where the IDF wanted them.
Save this tweet: No Israeli ground forces were sent into Gaza. But the @IDFSpokesperson statement echoed by the media triggered Hamas to move its forces into the main reinforced tunnels away from the border. The IDF then hit the tunnels. Classic military deception tactics. https://t.co/HFFLegTuVX
— Prof Gerald M Steinberg (@GeraldNGOM) May 14, 2021
The Times of Israel reported the devastating blow to the Hamas terror tunnels:
Some 160 aircraft flying simultaneously conducted a massive attack on a network of tunnels dug by the Hamas terror group under the northern Gaza Strip around midnight Thursday in the largest Israeli strike since the outbreak of fighting earlier this week, the military said Friday.
According to the Israel Defense Forces, in this air campaign, which lasted nearly 40 minutes, some 450 missiles were dropped on 150 targets in northern Gaza, particularly around the city of Beit Lahiya. The military said it was still working to determine the extent of the damage caused to the underground infrastructure, which IDF Spokesperson Hidai Zilberman told reporters was a “strategic asset” to Hamas, and the number of terrorist operatives killed in the strikes.
Genius ruse by IDF: put out a vaguely worded tweet hinting a ground invasion had begun, which made Hamas fighters scramble to their tunnels, then it blew the tunnels to smithereens. https://t.co/ldyK93arNp
— Eylon Levy (@EylonALevy) May 14, 2021
The Jerusalem Post reported the brilliant Israeli ruse that will live in the annals of military and counter-terrorism history:
At about 9 pm on Thursday night, the IDF began assembling ground forces along the border with the Gaza Strip. Some armored and infantry battalions joined the artillery batteries that had been deployed days earlier to pound Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets.
Earlier in the day, the IDF said that a ground offensive was on the table as a viable option for the continuation of Operation Guardians of the Wall. The IDF was hitting hard at Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets from the air but on the ground they would be expected to cause even more damage albeit with greater risk to the Israeli forces.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made his contribution, saying Thursday that the campaign against Hamas was far from over and that more Israeli action was coming.
At midnight, the IDF Spokesperson’s English department tweeted that “IDF air and ground troops are currently attacking in the Gaza Strip.” The foreign media jumped at the tweet, interpreting it to mean that Israel was sending ground forces into Gaza, a major escalation in the current operation and a sign that it was far from over.
Websites of media outlets around the world, including the Washington Post and ABC, reported the incursion. “Israeli troops have entered the Gaza Strip as conflict with Palestinians escalates, Israeli military says,” was the tweet put out by the Washington Post.
The problem was that there was no ground invasion. Yes, the IDF had deployed troops along the border but they did not cross into Gaza. What did happen was in the air where 160 aircraft had assembled for a massive bombing run over the Gaza Strip. Their target was what the IDF called Hamas’s “Metro”, an underground network of tunnels where Hamas stored its weapons and used to move throughout Gaza hidden from Israeli aircraft.
The “Metro” had been built in the years after the 2014 war in the Gaza Strip, also known in Israel as Operation Protective Edge. It was a network of dozens of kilometers of tunnels that crisscrossed Gaza and provided safety from Israeli aerial incursions.
According to reports, due to the deployment along the border and the news coming out in the foreign media of a ground incursion, Hamas and Islamic Jihad sent their first-line of defense into the tunnels to start taking up positions. These were the anti-tank missile teams and mortar squads meant to strike at incoming Israeli ground forces.
What they did not know was that there was no ground offensive. Instead, once they were out of the tunnels, they were exposed to Israeli aircraft. Within minutes, the “Metro” attack went ahead.
How many Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists were killed in the operation? That remains to be seen. IDF Spokesperson Brig.-Gen. Hidai Zilberman said on Friday morning that the military was still evaluating the consequences of the operation.
.@IDFSpokesperson deception led Hamas to enter its underground tunnel network known as the 'Metro' with 160 Israeli aircraft waiting in the skies above to strike in one of the most aggressive aerial assaults Gaza has known.https://t.co/vo1d3Lxums
— Yaakov Katz (@yaakovkatz) May 14, 2021
While the IDF evaluates the success of the overnight counterstrike, the irony of this brilliant Israeli maneuver could not be more clear. Since the resumption of Palestinian hostilities this week, the mainstream media has been a willing accomplice in Hamas’s terror game: disseminating Islamist group’s propaganda, sympathizing with it and painting Israel as the aggressor.
The operation also shows the Israeli government’s resolve to destroy Gaza’s terrorist infrastructure. “[W]hatever we don’t do now, we will have to do in six months or a year,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his cabinet colleagues on Thursday.DONATE
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.