Israel claims it destroyed Hamas attack tunnel from Gaza

An entrance to a tunnel outside the southern Gaza Strip. (Reuters)

Israeli forces on Sunday destroyed a "significant" cross-border attack tunnel from the Gaza Strip, which the military said was being dug by dominant Islamist group, Hamas.

The announcement, cleared by Israeli censors who had previously barred reports of detection work around the central Gaza frontier, followed a surge of Palestinian unrest in response to last week's U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

It also came as Palestinian factions tried to meet Sunday's deadline for an Egyptian-mediated handover of Gaza by Hamas to Western-backed President Mahmoud Abbas after a decade's schism.

A network of Gaza tunnels allowed Hamas gunmen to blindside Israel's superior forces during the 2014 war and the Israelis, with U.S. help, have since stepped up work on counter-measures.

The tunnel destroyed on Sunday ran hundreds of meters into Israeli territory and, though unfinished, was a new project that showed "a significant effort by Hamas", military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Jonathan Conricus told reporters.

He did not elaborate on how Israel knew Hamas was responsible for the tunnel, which he said reached to within 1km (0.6 miles) of the nearest Israeli civilian community.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:51 - GMT 06:51
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