Israel Destroys Tunnel From Gaza It Says Was Used By Hamas

Hannah Rogers
January 15, 2018

The tunnel was reported to be 1.5 km long (about one mile), and going down 80 meters (260 feet), underneath the Kerem Shalom border that crossed into Israel and then flowed into Egypt. Conricus also said that the tunnel could have also been utilized for the goal of transferring terrorists from Gaza to Egypt, from where the targets could have been killed. "The demolition of the attack tunnel system is an important factor in the policy of systematically harming Hamas' strategic ability, he added". This tunnel extended to Egypt, that is to say it went from southern Israel through Gaza to Rafiach, a length of about 1.5 kilometers (.932 miles).

He said Israeli jets struck part of the tunnel and a new set of sophisticated "tools" destroyed the rest.

Gaza's interior ministry said an initial investigation indicated "the Palestinian fishing boat did not cross the Egyptian (maritime) border".

During the last Gaza war, in 2014, Hamas fighters used dozens of tunnels to blindside Israel's superior forces and threaten civilian communities near the frontier.

On Saturday evening the army informed the Palestinians that it would temporarily close the Kerem Shalom crossing for all traffic starting Sunday morning.

According to the Israeli army, the tunnel passed under the Kerem Shalom border crossing, near the Egyptian border.

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After several setbacks in detecting tunnels, the Israeli army insisted Sunday that Israel possesses "the most advanced capability in the world to locate underground tunnels" and announced its intention to demolish all of the tunnels extending from the Gaza Strip into Israel by the end of the year.

The tunnel belongs to Hamas, the Islamist organization that runs Gaza, it said.

Media asked if the tunnel could have functioned as both a smuggling and attack tunnel, the army spokesperson responded, "It could have, but we deal with the infrastructure".

There was no immediate comment from Hamas or Egypt, or any reports of casualties.

Israel withdrew troops and settlers from the territory in 2005 but remains the conduit for the passage of goods and supplies most of its electricity.

Tensions between Palestinians and Israel have been high since U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital on December 6. The message to the leadership and residents of Gaza is clear: "You should be investing in life-sustaining activities, not tunnels that end up as graves".

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