As Hamas blames everything from Israel to Egypt to bad weather for the collapse of their terror tunnels, the true source may be a lone rabbi with enough faith to bring down the tunnels with the power of prayer.
Hamas has invested millions of dollars and much of its manpower into building its network of terror tunnels, used to deadly effect against Israel in the last war in 2014, under the Gaza-Israel border. However, despite all the concrete and effort, several tunnels have inexplicably collapsed in recent weeks.
In the last two months, nine tunnels have collapsed, leading tunnel workers to refuse to continue digging. Earlier this week, a high-ranking Hamas officer was killed in a tunnel collapse, bringing the total number of militants killed in tunnel accidents since the beginning of the year up to 17.
Students of Rabbi Netanel Shriki from Netivot, a town on the Gaza border, believe their rabbi is the cause. Rabbi Shriki, deeply concerned about the growing threat to southern Israel, decided to call for divine intervention. About six weeks ago he began praying at the border fence, a dangerous area, asking God to help Israel. To his students, it is clear that Rabbi Shriki’s prayers have been answered.
The students told Haredi 10 they have witnessed him go out to the fields pray for the tunnels to collapse, and each time, a collapse has been reported.
“This is already not a case of a string of circumstantial accidents,” the students told Haredi 10. “Five times in a row he went out to pray for the tunnels to collapse, and each time, it happened.”
The rabbi went out to the fence to pray last Thursday morning, and by the afternoon, it was announced in the media that another tunnel had collapsed.
About a month ago, some soldiers asked to take part in the prayers but the IDF refused and Rabbi Shriki was left alone at the fence. But the rabbi continued, undaunted.
Even the enemy has taken notice of Rabbi Shriki’s influence with the Heavens. Last week, the Palestinian Authority media published a story about the rabbi who prays for the tunnels to collapse.
Rabbi Shriki is the grandson of the Rabbi Shalom Ifergen, known as the Baba Shalom, a well-known kabbalist whose hilula (celebration commemorating the anniversary of his passing) draws thousands of participants every year. Rabbi Shriki runs the charity organization Tehila Shalom, which provides food for families in need.