The IDF continued working in the early hours of Sunday morning on the destruction of a Hamas terror tunnel that was attacked by Israeli jets Saturday evening underneath the Kerem Shalom border crossing.
The tunnel reached all the way to the Egyptian side of the border and was dug from Rafah at a length of approximately 1.5 kilometers.
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the same evening that Israel would continue to “systematically respond with even greater force” to terror attacks launched by Hamas from the Gaza Strip, confirming that the Israel Air Force (IAF) had attacked the Hamas target in the southern Gazan city.
“There are people who say that the IDF attacks sand dunes. That is not correct. We are responding to aggression against the State of Israel and are taking vigorous and systematic action against hostile infrastructures,” Netanyahu said as he boarded the plane for his departure for India.
“Hamas needs to understand that we won’t allow these continued attacks and we will respond with even greater force.”
Israeli planes bombed the tunnel opening at around 11 pm Saturday night on the Gazan side in Rafah, some 900 meters from the enclave’s border with Israel.
The tunnel penetrated 180 meters into Israel territory, passing underneath Kerem Shalom, the only commercial crossing between Gaza and Israel which serves as the conduit for gas and diesel pipelines and antennas. Israel shut down the crossing as a result until further notice.
IDF Spokesperson Brigadier-General Ronen Manelis denied claims made by Hamas that the tunnel was merely intended for smuggling.
“This is the first terror tunnel of its kind that has been dug over the last year and was still being worked on. It’s possible that the it was dug on the Egyptian side to stage a combined attack in the future on the Kerem Shalom crossing from the Egyptian side too and to transport activists or weapons to the Sinai,” Manelis said.
“It is a significant asset for Hamas. We will continue to act vigorously against the terror tunnels and we are not interested in an escalation of the situation,” Manelis continued. “The tunnel endangered the Kerem Shalom crossing and Hamas did this cynically and absurdly.”
By Ynet News