BREAKING: IDF demolishes a major Hamas terror tunnel under Erez border crossing.
The tunnel, which was dug around the security perimeter a few meters from Israeli territory, was destroyed by fighter planes. It was intended to reach into Israeli territory, near an Israeli town, as well as to the Erez humanitarian border crossing.
The tunnel was still being excavated and was intended to reach Israeli territory near kibbutz Erez and the Erez humanitarian border crossing.
Arabs said the strike caused no casualties, and that ten missiles were launched at the tunnel, situated in the vicinity of the city of Beit Hanoun.
Israeli citizens residing in the region reported aerial activity and explosions being clearly audible in Sderot as well as in the Israeli communities surrounding Gaza.
Locating the tunnel and its subsequent destruction were part of the ongoing Israeli effort to foil the Gaza terror groups’ subterranean terrorism—and chiefly efforts by Hamas, which rules the isolated enclave.
The most recent tunnel joins another tunnel excavated underneath the Kerem Shalom crossing and neutralized this past January.
The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit noted that the tunnel destroyed Saturday was the first assailed before actually crossing into Israel.
Advanced technologies were used to pinpoint the exact location of the tunnel before it crossed the security fence into Israel, the army added.
IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Ronen Manelis confirmed that, “We have attacked nine tunnels thus far, but this was the first attacked before crossing (into Israel). Hamas has been acting for the past several weeks to turn the perimeter into a zone of terrorism and violence.
“Hamas is trying to transform the border fence protests, including those expected to take place Monday and Tuesday, into covers for terror attacks. Hamas’s action yesterday against the Kerem Shalom crossing (which was burned down on the Gaza side by Palestinians—ed) was cynical to both Gazans and donor countries.
“The fact that Hamas excavated a tunnel underneath the crossing proved that it endangers its own civilians. Hamas is killing the Gaza Strip.”
Brig.-Gen. Manelis further noted that due to planned riots next week for the transfer of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and Nakba Day, the IDF will halt all regular training sessions in the coming week and bring in three brigades to bolster the forces of the Gaza and Judea and Samaria divisions.
“We are not looking to escalation or deterioration,” Manelis stated. “We are prepared for the coming days in greater urgency than we have been recently.”
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman added that, “Hamas is spreading slogans about its desire for a long-term ‘hudna’ (armistice), but in reality continues digging terror tunnels into Israeli territory.”
“We aren’t buying this bluff. We’ll continue, as we did this evening, to go after terror infrastructures. The only formula that can be taken into consideration is demilitarization in return for rehabilitation,” the defense minister concluded.