Monday, 18 April 2016

Israeli forces find first tunnel from Gaza into Israel since 2014 war


Israeli forces have uncovered and destroyed a tunnel passing from the Gaza Strip into Israel -- the first to be found since Israel's devastating military offensive on the coastal enclave in 2014.

The Israeli army on Monday lifted a gag order on the discovery of the tunnel earlier this week. An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed to Ma'an the tunnel had been found and destroyed on both sides of the border.

Reaching 30 meters deep at certain points, the tunnel reportedly extended from the southeast of the Gaza Strip, crossing the border to where Israeli military bases and towns are located.

Israeli army spokesperson Peter Lerner said in a statement: "The ugly truth is that Hamas continues to invest millions of dollars to build tunnels of terror and death. The tunnel uncovered in Israel demonstrates once more Hamas' warped priorities and continued commitment and investment in tools of violence."

The Coordinator of Israeli Government's Activities in the Palestinian Territory Yoav Mordechai also confirmed the tunnel's discovery, saying: "Hamas continues to dig tunnels ignoring Gaza citizens' rights to live in dignity."

There have been reports in recent months that Hamas has expanded its tunnel network -- used mainly for military purposes in the northern Gaza Strip and smuggling in the south -- since Israel's 2014 offensive on Gaza left much of it destroyed. more