Israel says destroyed Gaza tunnel under Israel, Egypt borders

The tunnel ran beneath the Gaza Strip

The tunnel ran beneath the Gaza Strip

The tunnel was reported to be 1.5 km long (about one mile), and going down 80 meters (260 feet), underneath the Kerem Shalom border that crossed into Israel and then flowed into Egypt. Conricus also said that the tunnel could have also been utilized for the objective of transferring terrorists from Gaza to Egypt, from where the targets could have been killed. Officials said they believed the tunnel may have been meant to enable a Hamas takeover of the crossing.

The strikes occurred within the Gaza Strip, while further means were used in Israeli territory.

"The thwarting of the terrorist tunnel, the third in Israeli territory in recent weeks, is more proof of the IDF's advanced operational, intelligence and technological capabilities", read a statement by the IDF Spokesperson's Unit.

The tunnel that was destroyed crossed into Israel near the Kerem Shalom Crossing, he said. It was completely destroyed by the strike.

A Palestinian fisherman, who was shot Friday night by Egyptian navy forces in southern Gaza Strip, died in a hospital in Rafah town in Gaza Saturday morning, according to the Health Ministry in Gaza.

According to the military, the closure of the Kerem Shalom crossing was a necessary security measure for those in the crossing area and while the consequences of the closure would be felt in the Strip, "the Hamas terror organization repeatedly chooses to harm the welfare of Gaza residents". 'Hamas must understand that we will not allow these attacks to continue and that we will respond with even greater force, ' he told reporters before boarding a flight to India.

In addition, they said Israel has been constructing a sensor-equipped underground wall along the 60-km (36-mile) Gaza border, aiming to complete the $1.1 billion project by mid-2019. Unique about this tunnel, the IDF said, is that "it clearly was not a tunnel for smuggling merchandise, but specifically made for attacks".

He said he was not aware of any casualties from the destruction of the tunnel, which was still being built. The Erez Crossing reopened a day later, and Kerem Shalom was reopened on December 17.

The strike came shortly after the military announced it would not be opening the Kerem Shalom Crossing into the Gaza Strip on Sunday, following a "situational assessment".

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