Israel Army Confirms Gaza Attack Destroyed Hamas Cross-border Tunnel

Israel Army Confirms Gaza Attack Destroyed Hamas Cross-border Tunnel

Israel Army Confirms Gaza Attack Destroyed Hamas Cross-border Tunnel

Earlier, the IOF informed the Palestinians on Saturday evening that it was made a decision to temporarily close for all traffic the Kerem Abu Salem crossing in the southern Gaza Strip, starting Sunday morning.

The tunnel, which was constructed in Gaza, began in the city of Rafah and crossed into Israel under the Kerem Shalom Crossing, through which hundreds of trucks ordinarily cross into the coastal enclave each day, he added.

On Saturday night the IDF announced it would be closing the Kerem Shalom crossing after an assessment of the current security situation, but did not provide further details.

The IDF said in a statement that it was possible the tunnel would have been extended into the direction of Sinai, allowing Gaza terrorists to send men and material to Sinai.

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Conricus said the tunnel destroyed Saturday was dug by key operatives of Hamas and was 1.5 km long, penetrating 180 km under the Kerem Shalom border crossing into Israel and into Egypt. The tunnel was destroyed by ground forces overnight, after an initial air attack demolished part of it inside Gaza.

The army stated that the tunnel had been identified and destroyed by a combination of advanced technology, intelligence and operational capability.

He was taken to hospital but died early Saturday morning. The IDF said it also extended into Egyptian territory.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the tunnel was a "major terrorist infrastructure belonging to Hamas in the Gaza Strip".

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'We understand this was a terror tunnel because it runs underneath strategic facilities, ' Israeli military spokesman Colonel Jonathan Conricus said, referring to gas and fuel pipelines, as well as an army position it ran under.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman commented on the strike: "We performed a professional and precise [military] action".

"The message to the Gaza leadership and residents is clear - invest in life and not burial tunnels", Lieberman said in a statement.

IDF forces are believed to have destroyed four terror tunnels since late October, targeting one in October, one in December, and two in January.

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