Israel Says Gaza Tunnel Discovered on Tuesday Was Built by Hamas

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Israeli army engineers working near the Gaza border, October 20, 2020
Israeli army engineers working near the Gaza border, October 20, 2020Credit: Israeli army Spokesperson's Unit

The Israeli army said on Wednesday that the militant tunnel it uncovered, running from the Gaza Strip and into Israeli territory, was built by Hamas.

Upon discovering the offensive tunnel on Tuesday, the army said it did not know to which Gaza faction it belonged.

The announcement comes after the Isral Air Force struck an underground Hamas infrastructure in the southern Gaza Strip on Tuesday night after a rocket was launched from the Strip toward Israel, which was intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system.

The tunnel, which runs near Khan Yunis in the southern Strip, is tens of meters deep and runs tens of meters into Israeli territory, according to the army statement. It was discovered by technological means during Israel's construction of an underground barrier.

The statement added that the tunnel's digging was nearly complete but that at no stage did it pose a danger to Israeli communities in the area.

“I don’t know what the response will be. We will neutralize the tunnel and examine the developments later,” said Israel Defense Forces Spokesman Brig. Gen. Hidai Zilberman.

Other tunnels have been discovered in the past in the area where this tunnel was found. Since the work on the barrier with Gaza began, other tunnels were discovered that the military kept under full surveillance, in a manner that did not allow them to be used.

Parts of the both the underground and aboveground barrier with the Gaza Strip still need to be completed and are expected to be finished in March 2021.