Israel says found second Hamas tunnel from Gaza since 2014 war
Israel’s military said it had discovered a cross-border tunnel built by the Islamist Hamas group from the Gaza Strip
Israel’s military said it had discovered on Thursday a cross-border tunnel built by the Islamist Hamas group from the Gaza Strip, a day after a rare flare-up of violence along the frontier.
The military said Wednesday’s violence, in which Hamas militants fired mortar bombs at Israeli forces, may have been an attempt by the Islamist group to prevent the tunnel’s discovery. Israel retaliated with tanks and warplanes.
Israel has stepped up work on technologies for spotting the secret subterranean passages after Hamas tunnel raiders took the military by surprise during a 2014 war in Gaza.
One tunnel was unearthed last month without incident. Nobody was killed in Wednesday’s clashes, though they pose a test to the truce that has largely held since the 2014 war.
Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Lerner, an Israeli military spokesman, said the tunnel unearthed on Thursday appeared to be 28 meters (yards) deep and that an investigation was underway to determine whether it was dug before or after the war.
He blamed Hamas for Wednesday’s mortar fire against Israeli troops who, he said, had been probing at the time for the tunnel within 100 meters (yards) of the Gazan side of the fence. He described this penetration as routine under an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire but said the Palestinian attack was unprecedented.
Hamas, Gaza’s de facto ruler, has not confirmed responsibility for Wednesday’s shelling and had no immediate comment on the tunnel announcement.
“We suspect that the ... mortars that were fired at the soldiers at several locations (were) perhaps a result of Hamas identifying that the IDF (Israel Defence Forces) is closing in on its assets,” Lerner told foreign journalists.
“If so (Hamas) decided to change its policy and ... for the first time, actually opened fire at our operations on the ground.”
Some experts say Israel risks precipitating a new war by searching for tunnels Hamas may be keeping in reserve rather than planning to use for imminent attacks because the guerrillas could choose to strike before losing their strategic assets.
Heavily outgunned, Hamas had long looked to its rockets for some parity. But the arsenal was depleted during the 2014 war and by an Egyptian crackdown on smuggling to Gaza.
Lerner said Israel did not want any escalation of conflict but would do whatever was needed to ensure its security.
“We are prepared to operate in order to prevent these tunnels entering into Israeli territory, even if it means we have to continue operating on the far side (of the border).”
Hamas fighter killed in new Gaza tunnel collapseA Hamas militant was killed when a tunnel collapsed in the Gaza Strip Middle East
Eight Hamas men missing after Gaza tunnel collapseAfter several days of rainfal, the tunnel located in the area of Jabalia collapsed News
Hamas fighters killed in Gaza tunnel collapseThe sources did not say why the tunnel, located in eastern Shejaiya in northern Gaza, collapsed Middle East
Hamas fighters show defiance in Gaza tunnel tourIsrael’s ground forces focused on destroying tunnels within two to 4.5 kilometers of the border Features
Hamas airs video of cross-border tunnel raid on Israeli armyVideo released by Hamas appears to show militants emerging from a tunnel and attacking Israeli soldiers at an outpost near the border with Gaza. Reports
Body of Hamas militant recovered from Gaza tunnelThe body of a Hamas militant was recovered from a tunnel in Gaza on Saturday, a security source said, amid conflicting reports of the clashes with ... Middle East
Hamas acknowledges digging tunnel under Gaza-Israel borderThe military wing of the Gaza’s ruling Hamas said on Monday it was behind the recently uncovered tunnel running into Israel meant to kidnap ... Middle East