While the tunnel did cross into Israeli territory, it did not penetrate the military’s underground security barrier and posed no immediate threat, according to the IDF.
(August 16, 2022 / JNS)
The Israel Defense Forces on Monday announced that it had destroyed a Hamas tunnel in the Gaza Strip intended to transport terrorists into the Jewish state.
While the tunnel crossed into Israeli territory, it did not penetrate the military’s underground security barrier and therefore did not pose an immediate threat to border-area residents, the IDF said.
The tunnel had been identified as part of a “constant and ongoing effort to locate terror tunnels and neutralize them,” according to the military.
“We were aware of this tunnel but we waited for [“Operation Breaking Dawn“] to be over before we acted,” said an Israeli military spokesman according to Reuters, in reference to last week’s conflict between the IDF and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
The “pretty advanced” tunnel was destroyed in a “non-kinetic” manner, the spokesman said.
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For his part, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum told Reuters that the development was the latest in a series of “false achievements” by Israel, adding that his Gaza-based terror group maintained “the right to use all means to reinforce and develop its capabilities.”
The conflict with PIJ ended on Aug. 7 at 11:30 p.m. local time, when an Egypt-mediated ceasefire came into effect.
A statement from the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office at the time warned that if the truce was violated, Jerusalem reserved “the right to respond strongly. We will not allow any disruption to the lives of the citizens of the State of Israel.”