The most recently discovered Gaza terror tunnel, the longest yet, extends at least 300 yards inside southern Israel.
The IDF exposed another massive terror tunnel built by Gaza terrorists, extending deep into southern Israel. Running over a thousand feet beyond their border, it is the largest terror tunnel ever discovered by Israeli security forces. The IDF, which made the announcement on Friday, refuses to give exact details and is investigating how far and to exactly where the tunnel runs.
“The exposure of this tunnel was based on intelligence and boots on the ground in the vicinity of the Gaza security fence,” IDF Spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said.
”Our operational assumption is that Hamas and other terror organizations continue to tunnel and prepare points of attack against Israel and its civilians. This advanced tunnel was intended to pose a direct link and threat to Israeli territory and enable Hamas terrorists to reach and harm Israeli civilians. Tunnels such as this are built to assist terrorists in the execution of terror attacks. In the past, Gaza terrorists have utilized such tunnels to Israel for infiltration, detonation and abduction of Israeli citizens.”
Hamas has played down the finding. A spokesman noted, “This tunnel is not new. It is an old tunnel that Israel exposed two months ago, and jihad fighters worked to rebuild it.”
The new finding comes amid rising tensions between the Hamas terror group and the Jewish State. January saw 28 rockets fired at Israel from Gaza, more than in the previous four months combined. In March, there were more than 100 rockets fired into southern Israel, 60 in succession. Three improvised explosive devices (IED) were planted on the Gaza security fence and detonated while IDF soldiers were patrolling the border.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at Sunday’s weekly Cabinet meeting, declared:
“Over the weekend our forces struck at a terrorist who had organized attacks on Israelis and was also planning attacks on innocent civilians. I would like to commend the anti-terrorism unit, the IDF units involved, including the ultra-orthodox brigade, and the ISA for carrying out a very important operation in eliminating someone who endangered Israeli citizens. Our policy is to attack those who attack us and who are planning to attack us. Both were applicable in this case. At the same time, we also discovered a tunnel, a Hamas attack tunnel. These items underscore the importance of strict security procedures in any future settlement.”
Previous Terror Tunnel Led to Shalit Kidnapping
On October 7, 2013, the IDF uncovered another terror tunnel originating from Khan Younis in the Gaza Strip and extending deep into southern Israel. The Gaza tunnel was over a mile long and 50 feet beneath the earth. It was constructed using approximately 24,000 Israeli concrete slabs, which the IDF had permitted into Gaza for humanitarian purposes. The tunnel was detonated by the IDF three weeks later.
In 2006 Hamas terrorists used a tunnel to cross into southern Israel and attack an IDF post. Two Israeli soldiers were killed, another two were wounded, and another, Corp. Gilad Shalit, was taken prisoner. The Gaza tunnel raid led to Shalit spending five and a half years in captivity. In an attempt to rescue him, five more soldiers were killed. Israel would eventually release 1,027 terrorists for Shalit’s return.
Five days ago, one of these terrorists was arrested with a concealed knife at an IDF checkpoint.
According to Israel’s Secret Service, there were at least 33 attempts by Hamas terrorists to kidnap IDF soldiers in 2013.
Written by: David Fink, Contributor, United with Israel
Date: Mar. 23, 2014