Israel Destroys Attack Tunnel From Gaza That Penetrated Israel via Egypt

Air force strikes in Gaza over 35 times after dozens of mortars, rockets fired; Hamas, Islamic Jihad claim responsibility

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The tunnel that was destroyed at Kerem Shalom on May 29, 2018.
The tunnel that was destroyed at Kerem Shalom on May 29, 2018.Credit: IDF Spokesman's Unit

>> LIVE UPDATES: Five Israelis wounded in Gaza rocket barrage; military pounds Strip

The Israeli military attacked and destroyed an attack tunnel that penetrated 900 meters (half a mile) into Israeli territory on Tuesday. The tunnel, which was used for smuggling weapons, was dug from inside the Gaza Strip into Egypt and then continued into Israel.

The tunnel was discovered 10 days ago, the military said.

The Israel Defense Forces had intended to destroy the tunnel next week, but took advantage of escalating tensions in southern Israel to attack it on Tuesday. It was the tenth attack tunnel from Gaza the IDF has destroyed in the past six months.

Earlier in the day, two rocket and mortar barrages were fired  from Gaza towards southern Israeli communities. The air force conducted over 35 attacks on Gaza since Tuesday morning and hit seven compounds belonging to Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, who took responsibility for the fire in a joint statement. 

Credit: Israel Army Spokesperson

Reports from Gaza said the air force attacked bases and facilities of Islamic Jihad in Gaza City, Khan Yunis, Dir al-Balah and the Nuseirat refugee camp in the early afternoon. Over an hour later, attacks were reported on Hamas and Islamic Jihad facilities in southern and western Gaza City. Other Islamic Jihad sites were attacked on the Gaza coast as well as a weapons manufacturing facility in the Rafah area.

The IDF instructed residents of the region near the Gaza Strip to remain within a 15-second distance from their protected rooms and shelters. Warning sirens were sounded in Sderot, the Ashkelon industrial area, Kibbutz Zikim, Kibbutz Karmia; and the Hof Ashkelon, Sha’ar Hanegev, Eshkol regional councils.

The Sderot municipality said part of a rocket fell in a schoolyard in the city. The Eshkol Regional Council said shells and rockets fell in open areas in the region.

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