A Palestinian Islamic Jihad gunman in a tunnel below Beit Hanoun, in Gaza, May 18, 2022. (Attia Muhammed/Flash90) (Attia Muhammed/Flash90)

Tunnel crossed the Israel-Gaza border but not the IDF’s underground barrier.

By Pesach Benson, United with Israel

The Israeli Defense Forces announced on Monday it neutralized a cross-border tunnel from Gaza belonging to Hamas.

Brig.-Gen. Nimrod Aloni, outgoing commander of the IDF Gaza Division, told reporters that the tunnel crossed the Israel-Gaza border, but did not cross the military’s underground barrier and therefore posed no danger to Israeli civilians.

The tunnel had two branches. According to Aloni, the branches were previously neutralized in May 2021 during Operation Guardian of the Walls, but attempts to restore one of the branches were recently detected.

“The neutralization of this tunnel joins a long list of covert and open operations that significantly damaged the underground terrorist tunnel program of the Hamas terrorist organization, and we will continue to go after them,” he said.

Aloni added that the tunnel was neutralized by pouring unspecified material into the tunnel to make it unusable.

An IDF video showed what appeared to be foam inside the tunnel.

In December 2021, the IDF completed work on an underground barrier of iron, steel and concrete running the entire length of the 65 km (40 mile) Israel-Gaza border. The barrier is located several dozen meters inside Israeli territory.

Built at an estimated cost of at least 1 billion shekels ($833 million), the underground wall is embedded with sensors to detect digging activity.

Israeli officials have not disclosed how deep the barrier goes.

The IDF’s announcement came one week after the end of Operation Breaking Dawn, during which Palestinian Islamic Jihad fired 1,100 rockets at Israel.

Around 70,000 Israelis live in communities in close proximity to the Gaza border.

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