The IDF released footage Friday showing the detonation of a terror tunnel built by Hamas operatives in the northern Gaza Strip. The tunnel ran from Gaza’s Shejaiya neighborhood, for hundreds of yards, extending under the border into Israel, military sources said.
“Am I clear for countdown?” A soldier can be heard asking in a radio transmission. When answered in the affirmative, the soldier counts down from four, and a massive explosion follows.
“This is the commander, give me status report,” the IDF commander says.
“Living and breathing,” the soldier answers.
“Good job!” the commander concludes, as the video shows the full length of the tunnel.
The shafts of the tunnel as well as a view after the detonation are shown as the short clip ends.
The commander of IDF forces in southern Israel said earlier Friday that Hamas fighters in the Gaza Strip were weakening and losing morale “in all parameters,” but added that the troops on the ground needed more time to completely root out terror tunnels burrowing into Israel.
“The spirit of the Hamas terrorists is weakening,” Southern Region Commander Maj. Gen. Shlomo “Sami” Turgeman said during a press conference with Israeli media outlets. “I see terrorists in distress, abandoned by their commanders who deserted them at the front and stayed behind… and facing them, our reserve and standing army units led by commanders at the vanguard.”
Turgeman went on to assert that the IDF was claiming significant victories against Hamas on all fronts, and was sufficiently prepared both on the defensive and the offensive side.
“Every day of combat over there is a day of accomplishments for us, both on the issue of tunnels and on the issue of enemy units,” he said.
“Up until today we have managed to locate and destroy at least half of the enemy’s attack tunnels,” he added. “Hamas has built some of these [tunnels] in five years, and some of them in four years, and in a week we were able to significantly impair this ability. Every day of combat will allow us to harm this infrastructure more and more.”
Turgeman said that the IDF was increasing the pace of its operations in order to further its military achievements before a ceasefire was announced.
“We understand that there are additional ‘clocks’ in this arena that can also affect us,” he said, referring to the international efforts to broker a ceasefire, “so we are making the most of all the time at our disposal and will take advantage of the situation to the utmost in order to free our communities from the threat of tunnels.”