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May 30, 2018 9:37 am

IDF Destroys Hamas Tunnel Running Under Kerem Shalom Crossing ‎

avatar by Israel Hayom / JNS.org

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An IDF soldier overlooking a Hamas terror tunnel in Gaza in 2014. Photo: IDF.

JNS.org – The Israeli military said Tuesday that it struck over 65 Hamas ‎and ‎Islamic Jihad targets in the Gaza Strip, in retaliation for massive ‎mortar fire by terrorists on southern Israel. ‎

The IDF said it targeted six military compounds, ‎munition ‎storage ‎warehouses, naval targets and terror ‎headquarters ‎belonging to both terrorist groups.‎

One of the targets was a Hamas terror ‎tunnel that penetrated deep into ‎Israeli territory and ran under the Kerem Shalom crossing – the ‎only land goods crossing between Israel and Gaza.‎

The tunnel, described by as the IDF as “unique,” stretched some ‎‎900 meters (2,950 feet) underground, breaching Egyptian territory ‎before winding back into Israel. The IDF said it was detected while ‎still in its “mining phase,” suggesting it had yet to become ‎operational.

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This is the second tunnel to compromise the Kerem Shalom ‎crossing and the 10th terror tunnel the military has destroyed since ‎October 2017. ‎

IDF Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis confirmed the tunnel ‎was destroyed, saying it was “a dual-purpose tunnel meant for ‎both terrorist activity and smuggling.”‎

He denounced the mortar barrage, saying it was “a serious, ‎dangerous and planned terrorist attack against civilians and ‎children. Palestinian Islamic Jihad is a terrorist organization that is ‎based on Iranian ideology and funding, and today it used Iranian- ‎made weapons.”‎

He added that “how the next few days go is up to Hamas. They do ‎Iran’s bidding. … Just as Hamas allows this [fire on Israel] it can ‎maintain calm. We are prepared for any scenario.”‎

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