Israel Suspends Delivery of Construction Materials Into Gaza Following Discovery of ‘Terror Tunnel’
Israel has suspended the delivery of building materials into Gaza after discovering a “terror tunnel” connecting the coastal strip to Israel early last week.
The tunnel was discovered October 7th, the IDF announced Sunday, saying that it was approximately 18 meters underground and extended 1.7 kilometers. The discovery is only now being announced because a search for explosives was underway. The army said its elite engineering corps was sent into the tunnel, but no explosives were found, adding that this is the third such tunnel found along the Gaza-Israel security fence in the past year.
The IDF laid blame on Hamas, the terror organization that rules Gaza, for the tunnel’s construction.
Brig. Gen. Mickey Edelstein, Commander of the Gaza Division said in a statement: “The IDF holds the Hamas terror organization as the sole responsible body for all terror activities emanating from the Gaza Strip, and continues to operate on the intelligence and operational levels in order to apprehend terror attacks.”
The tunnel is a “gross violation of the ceasefire, [and is] against Israel and against the Palestinians,” The Times of Israel quoted Edelstein as saying in reference to the ceasefire agreement reached between Israel and Hamas following an outbreak of hostilities in November 2012.
The passageway was “definitely the work of Hamas,” Edelstein added. “Hamas is clearly in difficulty, and chooses the path of terrorism. We are dealing with the same threat as the Egyptians. We act on behalf of our people and they [act] for their people,” he said.
Israeli website Ynet said that the tunnel had railway tracks and lighting, and quoted chief military spokesman Yoav Mordechai as calling it “one of the most advanced terror tunnels to be uncovered in recent years.”
Israeli prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commended the IDF Sunday said the tunnel’s discovery “is part of our policy – an aggressive policy against terrorism, including preventive action, intelligence, initiated action, responsive action and, of course, Operation Pillar of Defense.”
Only last month Israel allowed the delivery of cement and steel for use by the private sector into the Gaza Strip for the first time since 2007.