Jonathan Conricus, a spokesman for the Israeli military, said the tunnel destroyed on Sunday had been monitored by the Israelis for months.
During the Gaza war, several Israeli soldiers were ambushed and killed by militants who emerged from underground tunnels. The Israeli authorities say the tunnels violate Israeli sovereignty and threaten civilians living in the border area.
The latest to be destroyed extended hundreds of yards into Israeli territory, according to the military, and ended in open farmland about a mile from the nearest Israeli village. Israel has invested heavily in trying to thwart tunneling.
2 Palestinians killed inside Gaza border tunnel
It recently went public with its plans for a subterranean barrier , has been using virtual-reality systems to simulate fighting in tunnels and is training troops in mock-ups of mazelike underground networks. Military and defense officials did not elaborate on the new tunnel detection and demolition system, but said it was a combined effort involving intelligence agencies, combat and engineering forces. Lieberman attributed the recent successes to the military, the Ministry of Defense and the defense industries.
The previous tunnel operation was in late October. The military identified what it said was a tunnel belonging to Islamic Jihad, which sometimes rivals Hamas, the dominant force in Gaza, but joins it in battle against Israel.
Hamas militant dies in Gaza tunnel
That time, Israel destroyed the tunnel by bombing it. It was the deadliest cross-border event since the 50 days of fighting in This time, the Israeli military used a new, quiet and unspecified method of neutralizing a tunnel, and said it knew of no casualties. The statement, however, did not provide further details about the circumstances of the deaths. Local Palestinian media on Sunday said that nine Palestinians had gone missing inside a tunnel after being bombed out by Egyptian military forces along Egypt-Gaza border.
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Cairo has attempted to justify the crackdown by pointing to an ongoing militant insurgency in Sinai, which erupted following the coup. Middle East 2 Palestinians killed inside Gaza border tunnel Palestinian authorities two officers were rescued from inside the tunnel Ali H.
There was no comment from the Egyptian military on the claim. Please contact us for subscription options.
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