First underwater tunnel found and destroyed in Gaza Strip; Tunnel ran over 3 kilometers; IDF: The IDF will continue to use operational tools and intelligence to monitor the area and keep Israelis out of harm’s way.
The IDF reported that it destroyed a naval Hamas terror tunnel, the first underwater tunnel detected in the Gaza Strip to date.
The tunnel, which was 2-3 meters deep and ran over 3 kilometer, was destroyed in Israel Air Force strikes in the Gaza Strip last weekend. The strikes were in retaliation for ongoing rocket fire, reports of the tunnel released only on Sunday night.
The IAF reportedly hit 15 targets in total, the strikes mostly on Hamas’s Al Qassam Brigade sites including three military compounds, two ammunition manufacturing sites weapons storage sites and naval forces, now known to be a tunnel. The airstrikes were carried out Saturday night and early Sunday morning.
The tunnel was designed so that Palestinian terrorists and militants could enter Israeli territory by diving into the sea.
The IDF confirmed the tunnel and events, stating “the IDF struck another Hamas terror tunnel during strikes against Hamas military posts in the northern Gaza Strip. The tunnel was unique, in that it was land-based, located within a Hamas post, and its exit was in the sea, giving terrorists ways to attack Israel at sea. The tunnel’s route was identified as part of an ongoing IDF campaign against Hamas’ naval force.” It warned, “the IDF will continue to use operational tools and intelligence to monitor the area and keep Israelis out of harm’s way.”
Last month, Israel’s Defense Ministry announced it would construct a sea barrier along the northern border with the Gaza Strip. Israel’s Defense Minister, Avigdor Lieberman described the barrier as a means to “effectively block the possibility of infiltrating into Israel via sea, and this will further thwart Hamas’ loss of strategic capabilities.”
Photo: IDF Spokesperson’s Unit illustration of underwater tunnel, 2018