The IDF Spokesperson’s Office said that on Sunday morning that a Hamas terrorist tunnel that penetrated Israeli territory under the Kerem Shalom crossing had been destroyed. The operation was carried out by the IDF Southern Command, in the border crossing area, in Israeli territory.
The tunnel crossed the perimeter fence, passes under the Kerem Shalom crossing, under two gas pipeline, next to a military installation, and then continues into Egypt.
The path of the tunnel.
The announcement stressed that the tunnel constituted a blatant violation of Israeli sovereignty, endangering the citizens of Israel and sabotaging the humanitarian efforts that Israel is making for the citizens of Gaza. To press that point home, there will be a closure of the Kerem Shalom crossing, as a necessary security measure.
The consequences of the closure of the crossing for Gaza residents are the responsibility of the Hamas terror organization, which repeatedly chooses to harm their welfare, the announcement said.
According to Yediot’s military correspondent Yossi Yehoshua, the Hamas tunnel has been newly dug, and not yet in use. It stretched some 900 yards inside the Gaza Strip, 180 yards in Israeli territory, and several hundred yards in Egyptian territory.
The IDF Spokesperson rebuffed a Hamas claim that the tunnel was intended for smuggling goods.
Or Heller of Channel 10 says the tunnel was for transporting weapons and Hamas terrorists, and for attacking strategic sites inside Israel in the next war.
Foreign sources claim the tunnel was used to smuggle in long range missile.
The same correspondent also said on Channel 12 News that the IDF informed the Hamas leadership ahead of the demolition.
The tunnel was identified by an integrated technological intelligence and operational capability, and has since been studied until it was decided to neutralize it Sunday morning. From the time it was discovered, it has been under IDF control.
“We have not encountered a tunnel like this one before,” said IDF Spokesperson Brigadier General Ronen Manlis.
This is the third demolition by the IDF in recent weeks of a tunnel that reaches into Israel.
According to the IDF Spokesperson, demolishing the tunnel Is further proof of the advanced operational, intelligence and technological capabilities developed by the IDF to meet this security challenge, part of an extensive defensive effort.
The announcement emphasized that the IDF is not seeking to bring about a deterioration of the situation along the Gaza Strip border, but will continue to act against any violation of Israeli sovereignty, and is prepared to respond to a wide range of scenarios.