Israel demolishes tunnel 'belonging to Hamas' from Gaza into its territory

11 December, 2017, 03:27 | Author: Diane Mills
  • File Head of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Yoav Mordechai and the Palestinian Authority’s Civil Affairs Minister Hussein al Sheikh sign an agreement to revitalize the Israeli–Palestinian Joint Water Commi

"The IDF will continue to discover and destroy the tunnels in order to defend and protect Israeli civilians and has no interest in escalating the situation".

On Friday the Israeli Air Force hit a Hamas training facility and a weapons depot belonging to the terror group, after terrorists in Gaza fired several rockets into Israel on Thursday and Friday.

The military has been investing extensive efforts in locating cross-border tunnels from Gaza and has been building a ground-breaking underground barrier across the entire border with the Hamas-run enclave.

The operation to detect and demolish terror tunnels is an ongoing process, the IDF continued, pointing out that its capabilities to carry out this mission are constantly improving.

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The demolition of the tunnel, which began in Khan Younis and extended past the Israeli-Gaza border into farmland in southern Israel near the Gaza border, comes about six weeks after another tunnel was discovered and blown up, while members of the Islamic Jihad, which was digging the tunnel, were inside.

"The tunnel that was thwarted today was a very significant tunnel and [built] to higher standards than what we are used to seeing", said IDF Spokesman Brig. "The Hamas terror organization is held accountable for all hostile activity emanating from the Gaza Strip", it added.

The army official has called the construction of the tunnel an infringement upon Israeli sovereignty, for which Hamas "carries a double responsibility". "And second because this is a Hamas terror tunnel". Since 2007, following the winning of Hamas in the elections in Gaza, Israel has imposed a blockade on the strip.

A network of Gaza tunnels allowed Hamas gunmen to blindside Israel's superior forces during the 2014 war and the Israelis, with U.S. help, have since stepped up work on counter-measures. Identifying and destroying the tunnels became a major goal for the Israeli military, which found many tunnels that were more than a mile long and 60 feet deep.

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