After much research and many phone calls to sources close to Micha Peretz, the Negev moshavnik arrested secretly by the Shabak, I finally reached a knowledgeable individual close to the family. After I told him of my interest in Peretz’s fate, the source told me that the arrested man was “innocent” and the victim of harassment on the part of the intelligence services. I was not able to engage in a longer conversation (yet). But I’m trying.
There have been numerous reports and claims by Israeli politicians scouring the country for voters frightened about security issues that Hamas has rebuilt those “terror tunnels” from Gaza into southern Israel. First, Naftali Bennett harangued about the subject and reminded voters he favored bombing Gaza back to the Stone Age, while Bibi only favored bombing it back to the Middle Ages.
Not to be outdone, Labor MK Omer Bar Lev told Israel Radio that Party chief, Isaac Herzog toured Israeli settlements on the Gaza border where he allegedly witnessed this nefarious activity and warned that Gaza was an issue that deserved more national attention. To his credit, Herzog’s approach wasn’t to bomb Gaza, but rather to bring about “economic improvement.” I’d call this Likud-lite, since even Likud makes the claim that it has eased up on Gaza (which is false). Note, Herzog won’t touch the issue of the Israeli blockade, which is the ultimate cause of economic and political stagnation there. It’s the elephant sitting in the room.
As I wrote in an earlier post, I’m guessing that Peretz has gotten swept up in this Hamas campaign (as concocted by political operatives) to rebuild the tunnels. Either someone in the security apparatus believes Peretz helped with this (intentionally or unintentionally); or else he’s someone’s convenient scapegoat over this ‘plot’ against Israeli security. There is also a possibility that the Shabak believes he was engaged in a plot against Hamas or Gaza using tunnels from Israel to Gaza, though this seems farther-fetched.
I’m taking bets how long it will take before an Israeli media outlet will break this story in Israel. Will it be weeks or months? The louder we raise our voices the shorter it will be.
@Richard “Israeli settlements on the Gaza border” – not sure why you insist on using the word ‘settlements’ on towns inside pre-1967 borders. It is confusing and misleading.
Also, why put terror-tunnels in “? If you want to call them freedom-fighting-tunnels or legitimate-resistance-tunnels then go ahead and do so.
Richard Silverstein says
@ Ariel: I use the term “terror tunnels” in quotes because I like needling hasbara types who use the term. I think the entire story about new tunnels is bogus as I think the notion of “terror tunnels” in the context of Protective Edge was largely bogus. Using tunnels inside Gaza to protect your own country is defending yourself, not terrorism.
There was one incident in which a tunnel was used to attack IDF soldiers inside Israel. But considering what the IDF was doing inside Gaza, it’s laughable to claim what Hamas did in that attack compared to the eradication of large swaths of Gaza by the IDF.
@Richard “there was one incident…” – you mean one incident where soldiers were killed. I was in Holit on July 17 when 13 terrorist came out but ran back into the tunnel once they realized there were discovered.
I saw another one that was discovered month (or years. Don’t reme which service) not to mention the one used to ‘arrest’ Gil’ad Shalit.
My main question though is why call the locals ‘settlers’?