On May 12, the Israeli Army announced in an official statement that it had destroyed a 5mil long tunnel of the Palestinian Hamas Movement under the Israeli territory, north of the Gaza Strip. According to the statement, the Israeli Army was able to locate, track, and destroy the tunnel using an “advanced technology.”
The terror tunnel constituted a serious threat to Israelis & approached Kibbutz Erez & Erez Crossing. The tunnel did not enter Israel & was destroyed within the Gaza Strip pic.twitter.com/y3kF9tsShW
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) May 12, 2018
The Israeli Army revealed that it had destroyed 9 similar tunnels of the Hama Movement around the Gaza Strip during the last few months using the same “advanced technology.”
Minutes before the Israeli Army announcement, Palestinian sources reported that warplanes, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and attack helicopters of the Israeli Air Force had carried out at least seven airstrikes on several areas of the Beit Hanoun district, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.
Commenting on the new development, Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus spokesman for the Israeli Army said that Israel is not interested in escalating the situation and accused the Hamas Movement of conducting terrorist activities against humanitarian facilities.
“It’s fair to say that Hamas is killing Gaza by its terror activities against humanitarian facilities and by focusing on terror tunnels towards Israel,” Lt. Col. Conricus said, and added: “We are not interested in escalating the situation, we continue to defend ourselves, but we are of course determined to thwart any terrorist threats”
The Hamas Movement lost seven of its fighters and commanders when the Israeli Army destroyed a similar tunnel east of the Gaza Strip on October 31, 2017. It’s still unknown if the new incident resulted in any casualties.
The discovery of the new tunnel will likely increase the already high tensions between Hamas and the Israeli Army around the Gaza Strip, especially because it came only two days before the pre-planned “Nakba Day” protests.