(JNS.org) The IDF on Monday destroyed a Palestinian cross-border attack tunnel. The tunnel was under construction and had stretched into Israeli territory.
“The IDF neutralized a Gazan terror tunnel inside Israel from Khan Younis—a grave violation of Israeli sovereignty,” the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit tweeted.
According to the IDF, the destruction of the tunnel is part of a larger effort by the military to thwart attempts by terrorists to harm Israelis since the end of the 2014 Israel-Hamas war.
The IDF said it “will keep taking all measures needed over and under the ground to thwart attempts to harm the residents of the State of Israel and to keep the area quiet.”
Hamas said the IDF’s explosion of the tunnel, which resulted in the deaths of seven Palestinian terrorists, was “a grave escalation against our people and against our resistance aimed at harming our steadfastness and unity.”
“It is part of widening efforts to reverse Palestinian unity and maintain division as it was,” stated the terror group, which recently reached a reconciliation agreement with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction.
The Palestinians killed in the explosion included two senior commanders in the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terror group, Arafat Abu Murshid and his deputy Hassan Abu-Hassanein. PIJ responded to the incident by saying that “all options open.”
“We will take all considerations into account, but we will not allow the enemy to set the rules of engagement,” senior PIJ leader Khaled al-Batash said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel will “harm whoever will try to harm us.”
“I told you many times that we are developing groundbreaking technology to deal with the tunnel threat,” Netanyahu told a gathering of Likud lawmakers on Monday. “Today we detected a tunnel and destroyed it, and we will continue doing so...We will continue to protect Israel’s borders.”