IDF uncovers Palestinian terrorist tunnel leading from Gaza to kibbutz in Israel

Underground passageway - built with Israeli concrete slabs - took over a year to build, say army sources, was 3rd discovered this year.

tunnel from gaza to israel 370 (photo credit: Yaakov Lappin)
tunnel from gaza to israel 370
(photo credit: Yaakov Lappin)
The IDF uncovered a massive Hamas attack tunnel leading from Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip, into Israel, complete with an electrical supply and phone lines.
The tunnel might have been intended for attacking or kidnapping soldiers, or for moving terrorists from Gaza into Israel to commit an atrocity against civilians in border towns and villages, army sources said Sunday.
It took Hamas over a year to complete, and is tall enough inside to allow people to stand fully upright as they travel along it. The tunnel is buried some 20 meters underground as it crosses the Gaza border.
A security source said it was the most well-designed terror tunnel found by the IDF to date.
The tunnel was constructed using approximately 24,000 Israeli concrete slabs which the IDF had permitted into Gaza to ease the crisis in the civilian construction sector, Southern Command chief Maj.-Gen. Sami Turgeman said. As a result, Israel has stopped allowing concrete into Gaza as of Sunday morning, he added.
“Last Monday, we exposed a terror tunnel that penetrated Israeli territory, near where the IDF operates and where communities are located,” Turgeman said, speaking near one of the tunnel entrances.
“This is the third tunnel we’ve found this year. It constitutes a gross violation of Israeli territory. If Hamas carries out a terrorism attack, it will pay a heavy prize, and Gaza will look different afterward,” he warned.
“Hamas invested tens of millions of dollars into constructing this. This is a terrorism industry. Instead of investing in schools, or civilian industry and employment, Hamas invests in terror,” Turgeman said.
He added that the Hamas regime in Gaza “cynically exploited our good intentions to assist the people of Gaza by allowing construction material into the Strip, and used the material for a terror tunnel instead.”
According to the Southern Command’s assessments, Hamas is using the current cease-fire to put into place terrorist infrastructure, which it might then use at a time of its choosing, such as the next round of fighting.
Turgeman said that Hamas is under much pressure due to its strategic deterioration, which followed the ousting of the Muslim Brotherhood from power in Egypt, but that it nevertheless is continuing to build up its rocket supply and is preoccupied with building up its military and terrorist capabilities.
“If and when it decides to attack, Hamas will find us prepared and it will pay a price,” Turgeman said.
The IDF uses a range of means to uncover tunnel construction in the southern border region, many of which are classified.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu praised security forces for uncovering the terror tunnel from Gaza.
“This is part of our policy – an aggressive policy against terrorism, including preventive action, intelligence, initiated action, responsive action and, of course, Operation Pillar of Defense,” Netanyahu said at the weekly cabinet meeting.
“The combination of all these actions and our policy has led to the fact that this year has been the quietest in over a decade. However, we have witnessed an increase in terrorist actions in recent weeks.”
Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.