Israeli air strike destroys Hamas tunnel under key Gaza crossing

Military gear being smuggled to Gaza seized at Ashdod port

Military gear being smuggled to Gaza seized at Ashdod port

Military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus said the mile-long tunnel ran underneath the Kerem Shalom border crossing, Gaza's main point of entry for humanitarian aid.

Gaza City - A fisherman from the Gaza Strip was shot dead by the Egyptian army overnight for unclear reasons, Palestinian officials said Saturday, calling for an immediate investigation into the incident.

Israel has said Hamas, as the dominant force in Gaza, bears overall responsibility for any attacks from the enclave. The IDF said in a statement that it was possible the tunnel would have been extended into the direction of Sinai, allowing Gaza terrorists to send men and material to Sinai.

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".

According to military correspondent Yossi Yehosua, the Hamas tunnel has been newly dug, and not yet in use. The reports of the attack were then confirmed by the Israeli army as well.

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

Tensions have risen in the region since US President Donald Trump reversed decades of US policy on 6 December by recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Military gear being smuggled to Gaza seized at Ashdod port
Military gear being smuggled to Gaza seized at Ashdod port

The army said the decision to not open the crossing, which ordinarily sees hundreds of goods-bearing trucks pass through it each day, was made after extensive rioting took place along the security fence surrounding the coastal enclave on Friday.

"There are those who have said the IDF just targeted sand dunes - this is incorrect", Netanyahu said in remarks to Israeli media before departing on his trip to India.

Netanyahu cautioned Hamas that Israel "will respond with even greater force" if rocket strikes continue.

The tunnel stretched a total length of around a kilometre and a half, he said.

During the last Gaza war, in 2014, Hamas fighters used dozens of tunnels to blindside Israel's superior forces and threaten civilian communities near the frontier.

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.

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