The IDF killed eight Palestinians in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday in air strikes and gun battles, as the army continued its sweep in search of tunnels used for smuggling arms and perpetrating attacks.
Soldiers from the Givati Brigade have been operating in the Gaza City neighborhood of Shajaiyeh since Saturday and have so far killed at least 25 Palestinians, while wounding another 15.
The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) revealed that in a joint operation with the IDF, soldiers discovered a large tunnel extending more than 150 meters from a home in Shajaiyeh to the Israeli-run Karni cargo crossing. The tunnel, security officials said, was to have been used by terrorists to launch an attack against the Israeli side of the crossing.
"This was an advanced tunnel that the Palestinians invested a lot of money in," said Col. Moni Katz, commander of the Northern Gaza Brigade. "We found equipment inside that we assume was meant to be used in an attack against the Karni crossing."
Katz said that the IDF believes that additional tunnels were being dug in the area and that it was still too early to reopen Karni, which has been closed for the past several weeks due to the terror threat.
Later in the day, troops discovered and destroyed two Kassam launchers, used earlier that day to fire rockets at communities in the South.
On Tuesday, Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin, told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that Palestinians were currently digging some 20 tunnels under the Gaza-Egypt border.
"Except for tanks and planes, they are smuggling everything," Diskin told the committee.
Early Wednesday morning, the IDF fired an artillery shell at a Palestinian anti-tank cell and killed three of its members. Later, another two Palestinians were killed by IDF gunfire.
At least one of those killed was a gunman and another was shot while trying to launch a rocket-propelled grenade, doctors and security officials said.
Among those killed was a 14-year-old boy who was shot while watching the fighting with a group of people, hospital officials said.