The IDF recently uncovered a Palestinian terrorist tunnel leading from the Gaza Strip to Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha, they announced on Sunday.
The tunnel was dug in order to either kidnap civilians and soldiers, or to infiltrate the community and carry out an atrocity in it, the army believes.
The tunnel was over 1.7 kilometers in length and represents a grave attempt by Palestinian terrorists to perpetrate an attack, army sources added.
The entrance of the tunnel on the Israeli side was reportedly dug near a kindergarten.
There was no claim of responsibility in Gaza but a spokesman for Hamas’s armed wing wrote on Twitter that “the determination deep in the hearts and minds of resistance fighters is more important than tunnels dug in the mud”.
The military said the tunnel, dug in sandy soil, had been reinforced with concrete supports, and Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon announced that he was immediately halting the transfer of building material to the Gaza Strip.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu praised the IDF for unearthing the tunnel, his spokesman said.
The Coordinator of Activities in the Territories, Major-General Eitan Dangot called for Israel to stop the transfer of construction materials to the Gaza Strip following the IDF’s announcement, Israel Radio reported.
Leaders from communities near the Gaza border called for the the IDF to revoke its previous decision to pull soldiers out from deployments on frontline communities on northern and southern borders.
The radio station cited Haim Yalin, head of the Eskol Regional Council, as commending the army’s discovery, saying it prevented disaster.
MK Omer Bar-Lev (Labor) on Sunday called on the IDF to provide maximum security to residents of communities near the border with the Gaza Strip in light of the discovery.
“This morning we received a reminder that terrorism exists and that it could erupt at any moment,” Bar-Lev said in response to an announcement earlier in the day of the IDF’s discovery of a Palestinian terrorist tunnel.
Reuters contributed to this report.
View original Jerusalem Post publication at: http://www.jpost.com/National-News/IDF-discovers-Palestinian-terrorist-tunnel-leading-from-Gaza-to-Kibbutz-in-Israel-328584