IDF’s “military engineers located the concrete-lined tunnel emerging from the southern Gaza.”
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Israel Defense Forces (IDF) uncovered a new terror tunnel along the border with Hamas-controlled Gaza.
The cross-border tunnel ran dozens of meters into southern Israel, military sources disclosed earlier this week.
“The tunnel route was discovered as part of the continuous effort to locate and neutralize terror tunnels,” the IDF said in a statement on Tuesday. “And thanks to the technological and collection capabilities of the underground Sensory Concrete Barrier along Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip.”
The tunnel’s discovery is a major success for the IDF in its ongoing fight against cross-border terrorism. Such underground tunnels have been used by the terrorist group Hamas and allied Islamist outfits such as Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and Army of Islam to carry out attacks and abductions across the border.
Following the latest discovery, the IDF stepped up its counter-terrorism operations, launching an airstrike against a weapons factory and Hamas’s underground terror infrastructure, Israeli media reported. The Gaza-based terrorist groups continued their hostilities against Israeli civilians, firing more rockets this week into southern Israel.
The Israeli military warned Hamas against terrorist attacks launched from Gaza.
“The Hamas terror organization is responsible for all events transpiring in the Gaza Strip and emanating from it, and will bear the consequences for terror activity against Israeli civilians,” the IDF added.
The Times of Israel news website on Wednesday reported the discovery of the terror tunnel:
The Israeli military on Tuesday announced it had uncovered a “terror tunnel” dug from the Gaza Strip that ran dozens of meters into Israeli territory.
The Israel Defense Forces said that following an “indication” from the barrier system whose installation it is completing on the border, military engineers located the concrete-lined tunnel emerging from the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis.
“The route [of the tunnel] was located as part of the ongoing efforts to find and neutralize tunnels and thanks to the technological and [intelligence] collection capabilities of the barrier,” the IDF said in a statement.
IDF Spokesperson Hidai Zilberman told reporters in a briefing that the military would now destroy the tunnel. Channel 12 news reported that the IDF had already sent forces into Gaza territory to deal with the tunnel. (…)
“The IDF is determined to defend Israel’s sovereignty and the security of its citizens and will continue to act against terror — above and below ground — in every area where it may be required,” the military said.
Military sources said the tunnel was detected by sensors in the concrete subterranean barrier that Israel has been building around Hamas-run Gaza, and marked a notable success. Work on the barrier has been continuing for some four years, and some 60 kilometers of the barrier’s 65-km. length have been completed. (….)
The detected tunnel is the first that the sophisticated new barrier has detected extending into Israel, but the 20th tunnel attempted by Gaza terrorists that the barrier and its sensors, dozens of meters underground, has helped thwart, Channel 12 news reported.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz said, “Even on days when the south appears to be quiet, beneath the surface, terrorist organizations continue their efforts to harm Israeli citizens and our sovereignty.”
“The discovery of the tunnel is evidence of the IDF’s intelligence and technological abilities, which will continue to act against threats and undermine terrorist organizations at the time and place that we decide.”
The discovery of the tunnel highlights Hamas’s growing belligerence towards Isreal.
“New terror tunnel shows Hamas is preparing for war,” Israel Hayom newspaper reported. The terrorist group “continues to invest in its rocket arsenal and other systems earmarked for use in a future war with Israel,” the daily added.
Last month, a Hamas operative was reported killed and several injured when one such tunnel collapsed in northern Gaza. Arab media speculated that the IDF detected and “employed special technological measures to make it collapse.”
The surge in terrorist operations against Israel comes when Arab countries are normalizing relations with the Jewish state as part of a diplomatic initiative backed by U.S. President Donald Trump. In September, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed the Abraham Accords at a landmark White House ceremony, the first peace agreements between Israel and the Arab nations in 25 years. More Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, could normalize Jerusalem’s relations based on President Trump-brokered accords, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu assured.
The move towards peace in the Arab world has rattled Iran and its proxy terrorist groups. Iran’s Shia-Islamist dictator Ayatollah Khamenei renewed his threats to Arab states on Tuesday, warning that the “status of any regime that negotiates with the usurping Zionist regime will be shaken before its nation.” Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the regime’s military and foreign terrorist wing, issued direct threats to the UAE, Bahrain, and others following the peace deals. Authorities in Bahrain reported the foiling of a major Iranian terror plot last month. IRGC-linked terrorists had planned attacks on diplomats and foreign nationals on Bahrain’s soil, Arab media reported.
Gaza-based Hamas and Lebanon’s Hezbollah, both Iran-funded terrorist outfits, have stepped up their operations in the peace agreements’ wake. Last month, Hamas and Hezbollah’s chiefs met in Beirut and pledged a terror alliance against Israel. Both groups agreed that Trump-brokered peace deals are a “strategic threat to Palestinian aspirations” and called for an alliance based on Islamic “brotherhood and Jihad” against the Jewish state.
Both Hamas and Hezbollah are developing their tunnel building capabilities. Legal Insurrection has reported the role played by Iran in these tunnel digging activities. In March 2016, we reported Iran’s hiring of the North Korean mining company “Korean Mining Development Company” to build Hezbollah’s underground terror infrastructure. A sophisticated Hezbollah cross-border tunnel network discovered and destroyed by the IDF in May 2019 included “contained railroads to transport equipment and garbage, and was equipped with lighting equipment, air-conditioning and ladders,” the Jerusalem Post reported.
Hamas alone spends $40 million annually on tunnels, a 2016 report estimated. Last year, a senior Hamas operative Hamza Abu Shanab admitted getting ‘direct financial aid’ from Iran for tunnel digging operations.
‘IDF Uncovers Hamas-Linked Terror Tunnel Along the Gaza Strip’
From our prior Gaza tunnel coverage:
- Israel blows up newly-discovered Hamas tunnel (April 2016)
- Israel’s IDF Obliterates Gaza Attack Tunnel (October 2017)
- Israel destroys vast Hamas attack tunnel (January 2018)
- Israel destroys “longest and deepest” Hamas cross-border Gaza attack tunnel. (May 15, 2018)
- Israel blows up “unique” Hamas attack tunnel, responds to rocket and mortar fire (May 29, 2018)
- Israel destroys another Hamas cross-border attack tunnel (October 11, 2018
- Report: Egypt pumped deadly gas into tunnel between Gaza and Sinai, killing two (February 13, 2019)
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