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Friday, August 1, 2014
Prime Minister's Office declines to answer regarding destruction of tunnels during ceasefire

Prime Minister's Office declines to answer regarding destruction of tunnels
during ceasefire
Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA 1 August 2014

At 08:50 Dr. Aaron Lerner of IMRA reached David Baker David Baker, the
Senior Foreign Press Coordinator in the Office of the Prime Minister, on the
telephone and asked: "during the course of the humanitarian ceasefire can
the IDF detonate explosives to demolish tunnels."

David Baker replied: Ask the IDF Spokesperson's Office.

IMRA told Baker: The IDF Spokesperson's Office says to ask the Prime
Minister's Office.

Baker replied: We have nothing to add to the reply of the IDF
Spokesperson's Office.
================
IDF Spokespersons Office: Questions relating to ceasefire to be answered by
Prime Minister's Office
Dr. Aaron Lerner Date: 1 August 2014

IMRA contacted the IDF Spokesman's Office News Desk at 08:03 this morning
and asked:
"during the course of the humanitarian ceasefire can the IDF detonate
explosives to demolish tunnels."

The IDF Spokesman's Office News Desk replied that "all questions relating to
the ceasefire are to be answered by the Prime Minister's Office."

IMRA has contacted the Prime Minister's Office but has not yet received a
reply.

In a conversation with IMRA when the ceasefire was announced Saskia Ramming,
Spokesperson, Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the
Middle East Peace Process, decline to take a position as to whether Israeli
forces could detonate explosives in order to destroy tunnels during the
ceasefire.

News reports on Israel Radio regarding the terms of the ceasefire say that
"the IDF will continue to DEAL WITH the tunnels during the ceasefire" but it
should be noted that the term "DEAL WITH" includes filling up tunnel shafts
with dirt.

Israel Radio Arab Affairs Correspondent Gal Berger reported this morning on
Israel Radio Reshet Bet after 08:00 that it is the position of Hamas that
Israeli action destroying tunnels would be considered a violation of the
ceasefire.

During the course of the previous humanitarian ceasefire the IDF
Spokesperson told IMRA twice that tunnels could not be exploded during the
ceasefire but the next day the answer became more complicated, with the
reference to the use of explosive material during the ceasefire being an
airborne strike against a tunnel entrance in defense of IDF ground forces
under attack from terrorists firing from a tunnel opening.

Take note: when the count of destroyed tunnels was renewed after the end of
the ceasefire - a figure not provided during the ceasefire - it turned out
that there was the exact same number of "destroyed tunnels" after the
ceasefire as before the ceasefire.

Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA
________________________________________
IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis

Since 1992 providing news and analysis on the Middle East with a focus on Arab-Israeli relations

Website: www.imra.org.il

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