Cleared for publication: 15th Hamas cross-border attack tunnel destroyed

The IDF discovers and destroys the 15th Hamas attack tunnel, this one dug 200 meters into Israeli territory, and like the others,  linked to a vast network ‎within Gaza of underground passageways.
• Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman: ‎’Everyday, we get closer to eliminating the tunnel ‎threat.’

By Lilach Shoval and Israel Hayom Staff


Cleared for publication: The Israeli military ‎uncovered and neutralized a Hamas terror tunnel ‎breaching Israeli territory. This is the 15th cross-border tunnel discovered and destroyed this year.‎

The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said Thursday that the tunnel, dug near the southern Gaza Strip town of ‎Khan Younis, was about a kilometer (3,300 feet) long and reached ‎about 200 meters (660 feet) under the Israeli ‎border. ‎

The Hamas tunnel destroyed on Thursday, 11 Oct. 2018 by the IDF. – Photo: IDF Spokesperson’s Unit ‎

Inside Gaza, the tunnel was linked to a vast network ‎of underground passageways that are part of Hamas’ ‎grid of terror tunnels.‎

The military said the tunnel was discovered several ‎months ago and Engineering Corp troops carried ‎out a series of operations Thursday to render it ‎useless. ‎

‎”This tunnel indicates progress in Hamas’ attempts ‎to build tunnels that can circumvent Israel’s ‎tunnel-detection technology,” the IDF’s statement ‎said. ‎

‎”We never stop working, above or below ground,” ‎Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman tweeted. “The ‎terror tunnel we destroyed this morning is another ‎tunnel Hamas won’t be able to use in the next war. ‎Every day, we get closer to eliminating the tunnel ‎threat.”‎

Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman visiting army forces in the West Bank on May 23 2018.- Photo: Ariel Hermoni/Israel’s Ministry of Defense

Commenting on the tunnel threat in a ceremony held ‎Wednesday in the Gaza Brigade, IDF Chief of Staff ‎Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot said that “the campaign to ‎locate offensive subterranean measures breaching ‎Israeli territory, its significance and the impact ‎it has on our troops and especially the homefront, ‎combines operational, technological and intelligence ‎capabilities.‎

‎”This has resulted in exceptional operational ‎achievements on both domestic and a global scales,” ‎he said. ‎

Israel is currently building a 60-kilometer (37-‎mile) barrier some 250 meters (820 feet) from the ‎border to counter Hamas’ grid of terror tunnels.

At ‎‎80 centimeters (31 inches) wide, the barrier has a ‎system of advanced sensor and monitoring devices to ‎detect tunnels, while above ground there will be a ‎fence 6 meters (20 feet) high, similar to the one ‎which runs along the Israeli-Egyptian border. The ‎expected cost of construction is over NIS 3 billion ‎‎($830 million).‎

Also on Thursday, the Iron Dome air defense system ‎was accidentally ‎triggered, setting off sirens ‎‎across the Western Negev, the military said, ‎stressing that no rockets had been fired at ‎Israel ‎from the Gaza Strip.‎

‎”An interceptor missile was fired from the Iron Dome ‎‎system as a result of an incorrect identification,” ‎‎the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said in a statement, ‎‎reiterating that all of the alert sirens that ‎sounded ‎in Gaza-vicinity communities were a false ‎alarm. ‎

Meanwhile, Gaza arson terrorism continued to ‎‎escalated Wednesday as Egyptian truce efforts stall.‎

Gaza launched balloons with incendiary devices attached, land by homes. – Photo courtesy: Israel Police Spokesperson’s Division

Seven fires were sparked in Gaza-vicinity ‎‎communities by flaming kites and balloons sent over ‎‎the border. ‎

One incendiary balloon landed in an open area in the ‎‎city of Gedera, 35 kilometers (21 miles) from the ‎‎Gaza Strip.‎

Police sappers were able to neutralize it safely.‎

On Tuesday evening, an incendiary balloon sent from ‎‎Gaza landed in the year of a residential building in ‎‎Kiryat Malakhi, 27 kilometers (17 miles) from the ‎‎Strip, causing no harm‎‏.‏‎ ‎

Defense officials said Thursday that the IDF was ‎‎bracing for riots during Friday’s protests near the ‎‎Israel-Gaza Strip border.‎

Launched on March 30, the Hamas-orchestrated riot ‎‎campaign has escalated in recent weeks and IDF ‎‎officials said that if this continues to be the ‎‎case, the military would not hesitate to mount a ‎‎forceful response, including imposing sanctions such ‎‎as shutting down the border crossings with Gaza and ‎‎limiting the fishing zone off its coast.

United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov – Photo: Wikimedia Commons

‎Also on Wednesday, U.N. Middle East envoy Nickolay ‎‎Mladenov has renewed his efforts to broker a long-term cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. ‎

These efforts join Egypt’s attempts to mediate a ‎‎truce, although Cairo recently said that, given ‎‎Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas ‎‎constant attempts to torpedo the indirect talks, it ‎‎may soon cease its involvement.‎


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