Gaza Terrorists Dead, More Wounded in IDF Advanced Technology Tunnel Explosion

Oct 31, 2017, 00:32

The operation followed an announcement Sunday by UNRWA, the United Nations agency tasked with aiding Palestinian refugees, which said it had found a tunnel under a school it operates in the Gaza Strip. He said the tunnel was targeted around two kilometres from the Israeli village of Kissufim, but added that no Israelis had been in danger. "This is what Hamas rule looks like and this is more proof of the double war crime committed as terror tunnels are built to attack Israelis, while using the children of Gaza as human shields".

Most belonged to Islamic Jihad, one of several groups in Gaza that are classified as terrorist organizations by the USA and European Union.

The demolition was carried out in a controlled explosion that was scheduled ahead of time by the IDF.

Their deaths were announced after Israel "neutralised a terror tunnel leading into southern Israel", military spokesman Jonathan Conricus told journalists.

He did not explain why Israel chose to detonate the tunnel this week, although the presence of fighters inside may have triggered the Israeli action.

At the same time, Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu received in his office in Jerusalem Donald Trump's Middle East Envoy, Jason Greenblatt and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, several days after Netanyahu met with visiting US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. "Today we detected a tunnel and destroyed it and we will continue to do so".

Conricus also said Israel used advanced technology to locate the tunnel but declined to elaborate.

The anticipated handover comes as part of ongoing efforts to end a decade-long political split between Hamas and rival Palestinian faction Fatah, which runs the PA.

Hamas is due to hand control of Gaza back to the Palestinian Authority by 1 December under the agreement.

Israel and the United States have meanwhile said that Hamas must disarm as part of any unity government.

UNRWA reportedly informed Israel immediately regarding the discovery. A state inquiry in February accused Netanyahu and top army brass of being unprepared for the tunnels used by Hamas during the 2014 conflict.

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