IDF troops found and demolished a Hamas tunnel that had infiltrated Israeli territory, the military said in a statement Sunday.
The army said the tunnel was discovered several weeks ago using intelligence information and advanced technologies in the area of Khan Younis, in the south of the Gaza Strip. The statement said the demolition was part of the IDF’s ongoing efforts to locate underground terror infrastructure that began following Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014.
“The digging of tunnels is a gross violation of Israel’s sovereignty, one that we cannot tolerate. The Hamas terror group is the address and bears full responsibility for the things that happen inside the Strip and emanate from it.
“The IDF will continue to use all means necessary, above and below ground to thwart attempts to harm the citizens of Israel. We are prepared for a variety of scenarios,” the statement said.
The army’s revelation came on the heels of reports in mid-November that a Hamas operative, 23-year-old Ahmed Majdi Mohammed Abid of the Sajaia refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, had revealed significant information about the organization’s tunnel infrastructure after being arrested. A month later, the IDF demolished a cross-border tunnel on October 30, killing 12 Islamic Jihad operatives.
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said that Israel would not reconcile with the tunnels’ threat. Education Minister Naftali Bennett, a member of Israel’s Security Cabinet, added a warning that individuals involved in tunnelling into Israel would be digging their own graves.
“Within a year or two we will topple Hamas’s leading project, the terror tunnels, so now is a time to be extra alert. We must also prepare for new aerial or naval threats, since Hamas is always looking to innovate,” Bennett said in a statement.
“The IDF and security forces once again showed we will not allow our enemies to develop the ability to threaten Israel’s citizens. During Protective Edge I led the push to destroy the terror tunnels; now the IDF destroys them before they become a threat. Today, those digging tunnels are digging their death trap.”