As Israel hits new Gaza tunnel, Liberman says Hamas military project a ‘failure’
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As Israel hits new Gaza tunnel, Liberman says Hamas military project a ‘failure’

Defense minister says attempts to attack Israel will be 'blocked with an iron wall,' after IDF destroys tunnel and 'terror infrastructure' in response to infiltration

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman gives a statement to the media during his visit in Katzrin, May 11, 2018. (Basel Awidat/Flash90)
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman gives a statement to the media during his visit in Katzrin, May 11, 2018. (Basel Awidat/Flash90)

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Wednesday called on the Hamas terror group to recognize that its military project has been a “failure,” several hours after Israeli planes bombed several sites throughout the Gaza Strip, including a seaport west of Gaza City and a tunnel.

“Tonight the IDF destroyed another tunnel built by terror group Hamas,” Liberman wrote on Twitter. “The attempts to attack the State of Israel from the air, at the [border] fence and underground will be blocked with an iron wall and with the IDF’s might.”

“It would be better if Hamas leaders understood that their military project is a failure and instead invest the resources on improving the life for Gaza residents,” the defense minister added.

The military said the overnight strikes were carried out in response to an incident on Tuesday in which Gazans sneaked across the border and destroyed an Israeli sniper’s post.

“A few minutes ago, our warplanes struck underground terror infrastructure used by Hamas in the north of the Gaza Strip and two targets belonging to Hamas’s naval forces,” the army said in a statement at 4:30 a.m.

Palestinians had reported explosions at Hamas sites in the central and northern Strip.

A news site affiliated with Hamas said six missiles hit a facility belonging to the terror group in Jabaliya in the northern Strip.

Palestinians also said Gaza’s small seaport was targeted, with at least two fishing boats destroyed and parts of the facility on fire.

Palestinian fishing boats are seen at the sea port in Gaza City on April 1, 2016. (AFP/Mohammed Abed)

Sources claimed three missiles targeted the site, two from the east and one from off the coast.

There was no immediate word on casualties.

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Posted by Shehab News Agency on Tuesday, 22 May 2018

The raid came hours after an Israeli tank fired on a Hamas observation post in response to a cross-border raid in which Gazans cut through the fence and set an IDF tent used by snipers on fire.

Video from the Tuesday incident aired by al-Jazeera and apparently filmed by one of the infiltrators with a body cam showed approximately 10 people taking part in the raid before sneaking back undetected.

With few exceptions, Israel holds the Hamas terrorist group, which rules Gaza, responsible for all violence that emanates from the coastal enclave, regardless of who carries it out.

Tensions along the Gaza border have been high since March 30, which marked the start of a series of violent protests along the security fence, known collectively as the “March of Return.”

They reached their peak last Monday, when over 40,000 Palestinians took part in an “unprecedentedly” violent riot along the border, according to the army.

Thousands of demonstrators burned tires, threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at Israeli troops across the fence and, in a few cases, engaged in armed battles with the IDF.

According to the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry, at least 60 people were killed on Monday and hundreds were wounded by live fire. Hamas later acknowledged 50 of the dead were its members.

Though the past weekend was the quietest since the weekly riots began eight weeks ago, the military has remained on high alert in the area out of concern over the situation.

Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.

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