Israel carries out air strike in southern Gaza

The Israeli military said Sunday it destroyed an attack tunnel built by the Hamas militant group that stretched from the Gaza Strip, through Israel and into Egypt, and that ran past Israeli military posts as well as gas and fuel pipelines.

The recent strike was the fourth time Israel has bombed and destroyed a cross-border tunnel since November 2017.

Israel Sunday announced closure of the Karam Abu Salem border crossing, to the east of the city of Rafah in the Gaza Strip, until further notice.

The army said it was unaware of any injuries or deaths resulting from the incident.

"The Hamas terror organisation is accountable for all activity in and from the Gaza Strip", it said.

Since October, the army has demolished three terror tunnels - one in October, one in December and this latest one, which penetrated Egypt and reached underneath the Kerem Shalom border crossing.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman also said that the demolition of terror tunnels "is a necessary part of the policy of damaging terror infrastructure and harming the strategic capabilities of Hamas". The military said that the passageway was used to smuggle terrorists and ammunition from Egypt into the blockaded Palestinian enclave. When asked if there was any intelligence of an imminent attack, Conricus would not comment. "Since its discovery the tunnel was monitored up until its destruction", the statement read.

Israel had been monitoring the tunnel for an "extended" period, but Conricus would not specify how long. Conricus would not provide details on the nature of technology, but Israeli leaders have touted a new system for detecting tunnels.

The tunnel's design was out of the ordinary, not matching the size of some larger tunnels and lacking the domed roof of smaller attack tunnels. Over the past year, the military has been building an underground barrier around the Gaza Strip to prevent other tunnels from being built from Gaza to Israel.

  • Jon Douglas