Israeli Army Shuts Down Hamas Attack Tunnel, Thwarting Cross-Border Infiltrations From Gaza
The Israeli army announced on Monday that it exposed and shut down an attack underground tunnel dug by the Hamas terror organization from the northern Gaza Strip toward Israeli territory.
The tunnel, which was dug from inside Gaza city, served as a passage for Hamas militants to try and infiltrate Israeli communities and attack innocent civilians living around the coastal enclave, according to the IDF.
“The IDF Gaza Division has been operating in recent weeks to neutralize this Hamas terrorist tunnel,” said IDF outgoing Commanding Officer of the Gaza Division, BG Nimrod Aloni. “We are speaking about an attack tunnel with two separate routes that crossed into Israeli territory but did not cross the new underground concrete sensory barrier.”
Aloni added that the tunnel “did not pose a risk to Israeli civilians at any time.”
Israel last year completed the construction of a 65-km-long underground sensory concrete barrier along Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip. The barrier is equipped with technologies to detect terrorist threats, both on land and underwater, and to thwart cross-border infiltrations into Israeli communities.
Aloni explained that the tunnel routes were first “neutralized” during last May’s fighting with Hamas after being detected by the new sensory barrier.
The exposure and shutdown of the attack tunnel comes just over a week after Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) ended three days of fighting in the Gaza Strip dubbed Operation “Breaking Dawn.”
Hamas, wary of getting into a larger conflict with Israel, refrained from joining the hostilities.
The IDF on Monday held a ceremony for the new Commanding Officer of the Gaza unit, Avi Rosenfeld, who will replace Aloni, after serving two years in the post. Aloni led the Gaza unit during the most recent hostilities in the coastal enclave against the PIJ, and last year’s Operation “Guardian of the Walls” with the Hamas terror group.
IDF Commanding Officer of the Southern Command MG Eliezer Toledano emphasized that Israel remained prepared to deal with continuing threats from Hamas.
“Hamas and other terrorist organizations have not ceased their attempts to attack us, and we will not stop striking them whenever they rear their heads,” Toledano said.