IDF preparing to ‘expand’ ground op, as 13 tunnels found

The IDF says it is preparing to widen the scope of its operations in the Gaza Strip.

The army adds that a task force, established specifically to address the tunnel threat from Gaza, has helped infantry forces detect a total of 13 cross-border channels during the first stage of the ground operation, dealing a significant blow to a central component of the Hamas infrastructure.

The task force was established one year ago, combining elements of Military Intelligence’s Unit 8200, which handles signals intelligence, and the IDF mapping unit, among others, says IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner.

All 13 of the tunnels found over the past day and a half stretch from Gaza to Israeli territory. Lerner says the entrances on the Gaza side have been found in greenhouses and private homes.

Additionally, Lerner asserts that the army has eliminated 3,000 rockets in Gaza. Terrorists there have fired some 1,100 projectiles, meaning that close to half of the projected 10,000 rockets in the possession of Gaza terrorists have been used or destroyed.

The army says it is currently engaged in three main efforts: the aerial assault, the limited ground offensive, and preparations “for expansion of activities.”

The air force has launched 2,356 strikes to this point.

— Mitch Ginsburg

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