Hezbollah Deputy Secretary-General Sheikh Naim Qassem says Israel destroyed only 30 of over 3,000 tunnels in Gaza • Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal condemns Israel, says it has no right to self-defense because "it is an occupier."
Hezbollah Deputy Secretary-General Sheikh Naim Qassem said Tuesday that Israel's Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip was ineffective and barely put a dent in Hamas' tunnel infrastructure.
Speaking on Hezbollah-run television station Al-Manar, Qassem said, "The Israeli prime minister was proud of destroying more than 30 tunnels, but in Gaza, there are more than 3,000 tunnels and a new tunnel is dug every hour."
He also addressed Palestinian criticism of Hezbollah for not getting involved in the conflict by firing rockets at northern Israel.
"Such an undertaking would work against the Palestinians, drawing international criticism and justifying Israel's continued aggression," he said.
In Gaza, officials are still determining the scope of the damage from the campaign. Some believe it will take years for Gaza to recover from the devastation.
"Thousands of buildings were destroyed," Gaza Civilian Emergency Services spokesman Ashraf al-Kudra told Israel Hayom. "The electricity, drinking water and sewage infrastructure has been almost entirely destroyed. What has not been destroyed has been severely damaged and is on the brink of collapse."
He estimated the damage to be about $6 billion, and added that it was still not clear whether the new school year will begin in Gaza this fall.
Meanwhile, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal strongly condemn Israel's military actions over the last month and justified Hamas rocket fire, saying, "As we see, Israel does not shy away from taking its terror to any level, with total disregard to any laws, rules, religious edicts or humanitarian considerations to achieve its goals."
Speaking at a meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Jeddah, Faisal said that, as an "occupying force," Israel has no right to self-defense and must "realize that peace is the only solution for its survival."
A statement signed by the representatives at the meeting says, "Israel should immediately cease its aggression against the Palestinian people and shoulder political and legal responsibility for war crimes."
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