IDF confirms it destroyed Hamas tunnel in northern Gaza Strip; Tunnel sealed with cement; Lieberman: Residents of Gaza: Hamas is burning your money on tunnels to nowhere.
The IDF detected and destroyed a Hamas terror tunnel that infiltrated into Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip over the weekend.
The tunnel entered Israel close to Kibbutz Nahal Oz near the northern border of the strip with Israel. The IDF reported that it had been monitoring the tunnel for some time and that they had sealed the tunnel with cement over the weekend.
The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit confirmed the tunnel was destroyed, stating Sunday “Over the course of the weekend, the IDF thwarted an offensive terror tunnel belonging to the Hamas terror organization that infiltrated Israeli territory from the northern Gaza Strip near Nahal Oz. This terror tunnel put the lives of hundreds of Israeli families at risk.”
The tunnel was reportedly “well built”, and the “route of the terror tunnel was identified by security forces early on and monitored thereafter. In recent months and especially over the last two weeks, Hamas has turned the area near the security fence into an area of terror and fighting,” in reference to ongoing riots and violent demonstrations on the border fence.
The IDF reiterated to Hamas that it “is engaged in a systematic, operational, intelligence, and technological effort aimed at identifying and thwarting terror tunnels and constructing an underground security barrier to protect Israel.”
Prime Minister addressed the tunnel during his weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday, stating “We will continue to deal with underground threats. Over the weekend the IDF thwarted another tunnel from the Gaza Strip toward Israel. We are operating in all sectors on behalf of Israel’s security and we underscore our backing for the IDF soldiers who are guarding our borders.”
Israel’s Defense Minister reported the tunnel was the “longest tunnel” the IDF has found to date, criticizing the terror organization for investing millions into its terror activity amidst the Strip’s ongoing humanitarian crisis. He stated “It’s a tunnel that cost millions of dollars to dig, money that instead of going to ease the hardship of Gaza’s residents has sunk in the sand. Residents of Gaza: Hamas is burning your money on tunnels to nowhere.”
It was the eighth tunnel in the Gaza Strip in the past four months, the IDF destroying two tunnels in March of this year. The tunnels were located after the IDF responded to an explosive device detonated on the Gaza border targeting Israeli soldiers. In February, the IDF destroyed an “underground infrastructure”, which it later confirmed was a tunnel.
Mid-January, the IAF confirmed it destroyed a terror tunnel that entered under the Kerem Shalom border crossing. The tunnel ran close to 1.5 kilometers and entered 180 meters into Israeli territory. It also entered Egypt near the Rafah border crossing.
Israel and Egypt continue to destroy Hamas and other terrorist groups’ tunnel networks in Gaza and on its borders.
Photo: Hamas tunnel found over weekend, IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, 2018