By Arie Egozi
Tel Aviv. A combination of deception and a massive air raid using special weapons enabled the Israeli Defense Forces on May 13 to destroy major parts of the underground web of tunnels in Gaza, known as “Metro City” and kill a large number of Hamas members.
After Israel rejected all efforts made by the US and some other countries to agree to a cease fire, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) decided to implement the well planned attack.
The special operation began in the evening on May 13, when two battalions of Merkva Mk4 tanks and a Golani infantry battalion began moving towards the special fence that has been built in recent years. In addition, the tanks travelled near Israeli settlements in such a way that the fence lights of the settlements illuminated the tanks and APCs for a few minutes, moving towards the fence but not passing it.
Israeli sources say that this commotion led the Hamas commanders to believe that Israel has begun a ground attack. The effect was enhanced after the IDF spokesperson announced that Israel has decided on a massive ground attack to stop the rocket launching from Gaza. The Hamas commanders ordered masses of the organization members to enter the tunnels to get ready for the ground attack. Others were ordered to get ready for the Israeli forces on the ground.
As the tanks and APCs advanced toward the fence, some 160 fighter aircraft and other aerial platforms that took off from six different Israeli air force bases, began pounding the tunnels with special weapons. In recent days the Hamas has tried to use armed drones developed by Iran to hit targets in Southern Israel. This after most of its rockets were intercepted by the Israeli Iron Dome air defense system.
The armed drones were detected before crossing the border fence and were destroyed seconds later.
Israel was not surprised by the drone use as Iran has developed some versions and began transferring them to its proxies.
Last year the Houthi rebels in Yemen used Iranian made armed drones in some attacks on Saudi oil installations.
The armed drones used against Saudi oil installation was the Shahad-136, that is carrying an explosive payload and has a range of 2200 Km. The drones used by the Hamas were small basic version but Israel was ready and intercepted them.
-The writer is an International Roving Correspondent of the publication.