– SPECIAL SECURITY REPORT –
IDF ON ALERT: Shortly after he IDF discovered, then immediately neutralized a Gaza attack-tunnel inside Israel, a grave violation of Israeli sovereignty, the Palestinians reported 5 Gazans killed by the detonation, and at least 9 others wounded.
– In anticipation of a possible retaliatory rocket-attack from the Islamic Jihad terror movement, IDF redeploys Iron Dome batteries in the area.
By Elior Levy, Yoav Zitun and Matan Tzuri
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip reported Monday afternoon that five people were killed and nine wounded in an IDF explosion of a recently discovered tunnel located near the border fence which had penetrated into Israeli territory.
Two of those killed in the explosion were said to be 25 and 27 years old.
According to initial and unofficial evaluations both in Israel and Gaza, the tunnels were dug by the pro-Iranian Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) activists, the second largest terror movement in the strip after the ruling government of Hamas.
While the group did not claim responsibility for the tunnel, it said on Monday evening after the controlled IDF explosion: “We will defend ourselves and our land.
Anticipating possible rocket attacks, the IDF positioned Iron Dome batteries nearby.
Earlier in the day, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit confirmed that the Southern Command carried out a controlled detonation of the tunnel which was located near the border fence with Gaza, near the South Gaza city of Khan Yunis.
IDF Spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis stated that “we now have possession of the tunnel, and it no longer constitutes a threat.”
A source in Gaza informed Ynet that two of the people killed belonged to the military arm of the PIJ, while a third was a Hamas field commander affiliated with the terror group’s elite Nuhba unit. According to the source, the commander entered the tunnel to extricate people trapped inside after being wounded in the blast and was killed in a secondary blast.
Officials from the Hamas military arm have also reported that some of those injured belong to the PIJ.
A further indication that the PIJ stood behind the tunnel was a statement issued Monday evening by one of its spokesmen, Da’ud Shihab, whose comments fell just shy of taking explicit responsibility.
“This tunnel is part of our deterrence policies to defend the Palestinian people,” Shihab said. “We won’t hesitate to defend our land. The Israeli attack that harmed a group of fighters and civilians is a dangerously aggressive escalation, and a new attempt to shuffle the cards. We are examining all possibilities in order not to lose the option of responding to this aggression.”
View original Ynet publication at:
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- The pro-Iranian Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) met with Hamas officials, and may accept Egypt’s recommendation to not retaliate due to Palestinian Unity Gov’t is planning major meetings with Egyptian generals tomorrow morning about opening border with Egypt.