Forum Post: Gaza 'terror tunnel' uncovered inside Israel
Posted 9 years ago on Oct. 13, 2013, 5:27 p.m. EST by mideast
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Gaza 'terror tunnel' uncovered inside Israel
Footage shows inside the Gaza tunnel, which the army describes as "extremely advanced"
The Israeli army says it has discovered a tunnel running 1.7km (1 mile) from the Gaza Strip into Israel. The tunnel led from a house to a site close to a kibbutz, Ein Hashlosha, and could have been used to carry out attacks on civilians, a spokesman said.
Israel has responded by halting the transfer of all construction materials to Gaza. Restrictions on the private sector were lifted last month.
A spokesman for the military wing of Hamas, al-Qassam Brigades, said on Twitter that "the minds which manage to dig the tunnel can dig dozens more".
The tunnel was uncovered last Monday after kibbutz residents complained of hearing an unusual noise from the heavily fortified border area.
It ran from Absan village near Khan Younis in Gaza under the border fence almost as far as Ein Hashlosha, Israeli media reported.
Explosives found inside the tunnel had since been made safe, the army said. A spokesman told the BBC the tunnel was some 15-18m (50-60ft) deep and would have taken at least one month to dig.
Tunnels have been used before to launch attacks from Gaza. In 2006, Palestinian militants seized Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit who was kept in captivity in Gaza for more than five years. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu praised the army but warned that the "quietest year in over a decade" had been disturbed by recent militant activities.
Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon said the discovery of what he described as the "terror tunnel" was "further proof that Hamas continues to prepare for confrontation with Israel and for carrying out terror attacks, if it feels it is possible.
"Since construction materials were used to dig the tunnel, I instructed, over the weekend, to halt the transfer of these materials to the Gaza Strip."
Israel tightened a blockade on Gaza when Hamas took power in 2007.
Israel has gradually eased restrictions since 2010.
Egypt, which has its own blockade of Gaza, has recently attempted to close off the network of tunnels used to smuggle goods beneath the border.
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