The IDF on Tuesday discovered and detonated a Hamas-built tunnel running east from the Gaza Strip into Israel. The tunnel was a recently discovered part of an excavation that was first revealed in November 2012, and contained several barrels of explosives. This is the second terror tunnel to be found in as many weeks.
“Earlier this morning IDF forces detonated a tunnel exposed shortly before Operation Pillar of Defense in order to sabotage yet another terror infrastructure of Hamas,” the IDF Spokesperson’s Office said in a statement.
This second tunnel was discovered two days after the IDF revealed a deep and heavily fortified tunnel near Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha.
Brig. Gen. Michael Edelstein, the commander of the Gaza Division, called that tunnel, which was supported by over 500 tons of cement arches, “extremely advanced and well prepared” and said it was “intended for terror in the vicinity of civilian communities.” Hamas operatives built the tunnel over the course of a year, Edelstein said, and in so doing committed an “extreme violation” of the post-Operation Pillar of Defense ceasefire.
Asked by reporters alongside the tunnel whether he thought there might be other tunnels in the region, he said on Sunday, “Yes. There are. We are looking after them and we will do what we need to do in order to meet those threats — either here or in the Gaza Strip.”
The tunnel exposed Tuesday morning terminated within Israel, in an area adjacent to the southern part of the Gaza Strip. The IDF could not say at the time of publication where precisely the tunnel ended and whether it resembled the tunnel near Ein Hashlosha in terms of its sophistication.
OC Southern Command Sami Turgeman said Sunday that the IDF would not carry on “with business as usual” in the face of these discoveries.