The IDF has exposed and neutralized a fifth underground terror threat emanating from a Hamas terror tunnel.
By: World Israel News Staff
IDF forces on Saturday exposed and destroyed a terror tunnel running from Jabalia, in northern Gaza, into southern Israel near the community of Nahal Oz.
The tunnel was exposed in what the IDF described as an “engineering operation” inside Israeli territory, conducted by combined Israel forces.
An IDF spokesman said the tunnel was dug by the Hamas terror group and was connected to an intricate network of other tunnels running through Gaza.
This is the fifth tunnel exposed and demolished by Israel on the border with Gaza in recent months. In this case, the IDF sealed, rather than bombed, the underground structure.
The tunnel ran under the border in an area where Palestinian protesters have been clashing with Israeli forces, the IDF said.
The IDF noted that the tunnel, which ran into Israeli territory, was exposed at its early stages and was under constant monitoring.
Violent riots as cover for terrorism
The IDF placed responsibility on the Hamas terror organization, which rules Gaza.
“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. The violent riots that have been taking place in the area of the security fence are an attempt to mask the terror attacks intended to take place above and below ground,” the IDF charged Sunday. The IDF said it “will not allow Israeli civilians to be harmed or Israeli sovereignty to be breached and will continue operating with determination in the face of all forms of terrorism.”
It added that it is “engaged in a systematic, operational, intelligence and technological effort aimed at identifying and thwarting terror tunnels” while constructing an underground security barrier to protect Israel for underground cross-border attacks.
“The Hamas terror organization continues to invest significant resources into its futile terror activities instead of investing in the well-being of its own people,” the IDF stated, while vowing to “continue operating to carry out its mission of protecting Israeli civilians and Israeli sovereignty while striving to ensure a stable security situation and preparedness for a variety of scenarios.”
The IDF also noted that this terror tunnel “put the lives of hundreds of Israeli families at risk.”
Hamas has built a sophisticated network of terror tunnels in the Gaza Strip, some of which have run into Israel, used for storing weapons, smuggling and terrorist infiltration 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.
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.