IDF destroys terror tunnel in latest air strike 

Source: IDF destroys terror tunnel in latest air strike – Arab-Israeli Conflict – Jerusalem Post

The tunnel was the ninth to be destroyed by the IDF in a year.

 MAY 12, 2018 20:33
Destruction of a Hamas terror tunnel near the Erez Crossing by the IDF, May 5, 2018

Destruction of a Hamas terror tunnel near the Erez Crossing by the IDF, May 5, 2018. (photo credit: COURTESY IDF SPOKESMAN’S OFFICE)

The tunnel had originated in Beit Hanoun and stretched over a kilometer, just meters away from Israeli territory.

“The tunnel was aimed at Israeli communities adjacent to the security fence and near the Erez humanitarian crossing,” the IDF said in a statement.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman posted on Twitter that Israel would not buy Hamas’ “bluff” and has said that the militant group has continued to build terror tunnels for years.

According to the army, the tunnel under the Erez crossing – which is designed for humanitarian use – was connected to the terror tunnel that was dug under the Kerem Shalom crossing that was neutralized by the IDF this past January.

“The terror tunnels prove the Hamas terrorist organization’s cynicism towards the residents of the Gaza Strip,” the IDF said.

“The Hamas terror organization continues to invest its resources in constructing terror tunnels and sabotaging humanitarian efforts offered by Israel and other countries for the people of Gaza instead of investing in the Gaza Strip and its peoples’ welfare,” it added.

Israel’s military has been investing extensive effort in locating cross-border tunnels from Gaza and has been building a ground-breaking underground barrier across the entire border with the Hamas-run enclave. Construction of the barrier is expected to cost over 3 billion shekels and be completed within two years.

The underground barrier is made from bentonite and is combined with large iron cages with water-resistant pipes and a system of advanced sensor and monitoring devices to detect tunnels.  On top of the underground barrier a 6 m. high above-ground fence will be built to prevent anyone from crossing above ground.

While this tunnel was destroyed by airstrikes, the other tunnels were destroyed by flooding them with material which prevents Hamas from ever using it again.

Over the last six weeks, protests on the Gaza border have seen dozens of Palestinians attempting to destroy or cross the fence into Israel. The IDF has claimed that many of those participating in such activities are involved with or operatives of Hamas.

The IDF has warned Palestinian civilians against approaching the security fence during events planned for May 14th and 15th – Nakba Day – saying that the army will “continue operating with determination in the face of terror both above and below the ground,” in order to prevent harm to come to Israeli civilians or for Israeli sovereignty to be jeopardized.

Shoshana Kranish contributed to this report. 

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