Israel's offensive on Gaza failed to wipe out Hamas's network of arms smuggling tunnels below the border with Egypt which Palestinians will now likely rebuild, Israel's intelligence chief said Sunday.
Speaking at the end of the weekly cabinet meeting, Yuval Diskin said he feared the situation along the border, known as the Philadelphi route, would return to the pre-war status quo unless agreements with the U.S. and Egypt on greater surveillance are followed through.
"The operation did not deal an irreversible blow to the tunnels industry," Diskin, the head of the Shin Beth internal security service, said.
"Not all of the tunnels have been destroyed. The second calm is restored and if Israel does not insist on the implementation of agreements on the issue, the situation along the Philadelphi route will return to its previous state within several months."
Israel carried out hundreds of bombing raids during the course of its 22-day offensive in and around the southern border town of Rafah where between 300 and 500 tunnels have been carved out, since it launched its massive offensive in Gaza on Dec. 27 that killed at least 1,300 Palestinians.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert called a halt to the campaign on Saturday night after securing agreements from both the United States and Egypt designed to clamp down on the smuggling although few details have been released.