As the Israeli Air Force pounds Hamas targets for the second time in 48 hours in reaction to a rocket attack, Defense Minister Liberman confirmed that Israel destroyed a fifth Hamas tunnel.
By: Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News
Hours after a rocket landed in open territory in Israel after being shot from the Gaza Strip Sunday night, Israel hit back with several airstrikes, including hitting what the IDF called “underground infrastructure.” The euphemism was clear to those used to reading between the lines of military-speak, but Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman openly called it what it was later in the day.
“Last night, we destroyed a terror tunnel near Kerem Shalom,” he said Monday at the weekly meeting of his Yisrael Beytenu faction in the Knesset.
No other details about the target were forthcoming.
This was the second day in a row that a terror tunnel was struck. On Sunday, the IDF confirmed that 18 Hamas targets were hit overnight Saturday following the wounding of four Israeli soldiers by explosive devices hidden at the Gaza Strip’s border fence earlier that day. According to Palestinian reports, Israeli jets fired around 10 missiles at a Hamas tunnel located in an agricultural area east of Rafah.
This is by now the fifth time in recent months that Israel has destroyed such an underground passageway emanating from the Hamas-ruled territory. In October, the IDF used explosives to blow up an attack tunnel belonging to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group, killing 14 terrorists, including two senior commanders. In December, using unspecified means, the army demolished a kilometer-long Hamas tunnel that began in Khan Younis and extended hundreds of meters into Israel. And just last month, the military destroyed a Hamas tunnel that crossed into Israel under the Kerem Shalom Crossing, through which hundreds of trucks bring goods into Gaza every day.
Over the past year, the army has been constructing an underground barrier around the Gaza Strip that is meant to block attempts to dig into Israel. The discovery of existing tunnels has been credited to a combination of unspecified cutting-edge technology and intelligence work.