The Israeli army blew up an attack tunnel, “stretching from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory, the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry said in the deadliest incident in the coastal enclave since the 2014 Gaza war,” reported the Times of Israel Monday.
Israel’s Chanel 2 put the death toll at 11, but this was not confirmed by Hamas officials.
“The explosion took place inside Israeli territory. The majority of the dead were activists that entered the tunnel after it was exploded and died in the Gaza Strip, and not as a result of the explosion,” said an IDF spokesperson Avichay Adraee
The IDF said the terror tunnel was discovered inside Israeli territory near the Gaza Strip and is believed to have been dug after 2014. The tunnel was being built by the Islamic Jihad terror group. It ran from the Gazan city of Khan Younis, crossed under the border for dozens of meters, and approached Kibbutz Kissufim.
The incident significantly raised tensions in the region, with leaders of the different Palestinian terror groups meeting in Gaza in a bid to formulate a response.
Israel deployed its Iron Dome rocket interceptors in the area and declared a closed military zone near the Gaza border in case the Palestinians tried to respond with rocket fire.
“We are not interested in an escalation but we are ready for all scenarios” Adraee said.
Professor Jacobson and David Gerstman have covered the Israeli fight to squash terrorist tunnels, including the 2014 skirmish extensively:
Follow Kemberlee on Twitter @kemberleekayeDONATE
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.