For the third time in three months, the IDF has detected and destroyed a Hamas terror tunnel in Gaza.
By: Max Gelber, United with Israel
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that Israel is “responding to aggression against the State of Israel and is taking vigorous and systematic action against hostile infrastructures.”
Prior to leaving on an official visit to India on Saturday night, Netanyahu remarked on an Israel Air Force (IAF) attack on a Hamas terror tunnel in Gaza, stating that “The IDF attacked a main Hamas terrorist infrastructure in the Gaza Strip. There are some who say that the IDF attacks sand dunes – this is incorrect.”
The IDF demolished a Hamas-built terror tunnel on the Gaza border on Saturday, one which reportedly ran into Israeli territory and under the Kerem Shalom crossing into Gaza.
An IDF spokesperson announced that the IDF targeted a terror infrastructure using fighter jets in the southern Rafah region, adjacent to the Egypt-Gaza border.
“The Hamas terror organization is accountable for all activity in and from the Gaza Strip,” the IDF stated.
The terror tunnel that was demolished was built by Hamas, the IDF explained.
Following an assessment of the situation, the Kerem Shalom Crossing, under which the tunnel ran, did not open for the transfer of goods in and out of Gaza on Sunday, the IDF said.
Head of COGAT, Major General Yoav (Poli) Mordechai, has updated representatives of the Palestinian Authority.
IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus credited the discovery and destruction of the tunnel to a combination of “cutting-edge” technology and intelligence.
“The destruction of the attack tunnel network is a key feature of our policy of consistently striking Hamas’s strategic capabilities,” Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman tweeted. “The message to the leaders of Gaza and its citizens is clear — invest in the sanctity of life and not in catacombs.”
Third Tunnel Destroyed
This is the third terror tunnel the IDF has exposed and destroyed in recent weeks.
In December, the IDF destroyed a tunnel that ran from Khan Younis several hundred feet into Israel’s Eshkol region. The tunnel could have been used to abduct soldiers or carry out a devastating terror attack within an Israel community.
In October, the army destroyed a cross-border terror tunnel built by the Islamic Jihad, killing 14 terrorists, including two senior Islamic Jihad commanders and two Hamas members. No terrorists were killed in the second operation.
Hamas has built a sophisticated network of terror tunnels in the Gaza Strip and running into Israel, used for storing weapons, smuggling and terrorist infiltrations into Israel.
During the 2014 summer war with Israel, Hamas terrorists on several occasions made their way into Israel through terror tunnels, although they did not manage to reach civilian areas. IDF soldiers were killed while battling the infiltrating terrorists.
Israel destroyed 32 tunnels during that conflict, but Hamas has since been working vigorously to rebuild the network, and the IDF has since made neutralizing the tunnel threat a top priority. The IDF has exposed several more tunnels since the 2014 conflict.
The IDF is building a new underground obstacle, meant to contend with Hamas’ tunnel threat. This new technology apparently led to the exposure of this latest terror tunnel.
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