“Your carcasses shall become food for all the birds of the sky and all the beasts of the earth, with none to frighten them off.” Deuteronomy 28:26 (The Israel Bible™)
The bodies of five Palestinian terrorists killed when the IDF demolished a cross-border tunnel last week have been discovered on the Israeli side of the border during works to complete the exposure of the ‘terror tunnel,’ the IDF said later Sunday afternoon.
Islamic Jihad reported that seven of its operatives had been killed when the IDF destroyed the tunnel on October 30 and that an additional five were missing, presumed dead.
Earlier in the day, the State asked the High Court of Justice to reject a petition submitted by Adalah, the Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights, calling for Palestinian rescue workers to be allowed access to search for the missing Palestinians. The state said that security operations were still ongoing.
Last week, Israel said it would not allow Gazan rescue workers to access part of the tunnel the 300 meter buffer zone along the border between Israel and Gaza unless progress was made regarding the remains of Israeli soldiers and on missing Israeli civilians held by Hamas.
“In the wake of a request by the Red Cross to enable rescue workers to search for terrorists missing in the tunnel that was demolished by the IDF this week, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj. Gen. Yoav ‘Poly’ Mordechai spoke with Jacques De Maio, the Red Cross delegate to Israel. Maj. Gen. Mordechai clarified unequivocally that Israel will not allow a search operation in the Gaza security buffer without progress on the issue of captive and missing Israelis,” COGAT said in a statement.
Mordechai’s statement came out hours after a statement was issued by the families of Lt. Hadar Goldin and Sgt. Oron Shaul, both of whom are believed to have been killed in fighting with Hamas during the 2014 Gaza war, urging the government to condition any search operation on the return of their remains.
In addition to the two soldiers, Hamas also holds two living Israeli civilians – Ethiopian-born Abera Mengistu and Bedouin-Israeli Hisham al-Sayed – incommunicado since they crossed from Israel into Gaza in 2014 and 2015, respectively. Both men are said to be suffering from mental health problems. A third Israeli citizen Jumaa Abu Ghanima is also believed to have crossed into Gaza, however Hamas denies any knowledge of his whereabouts.