The terror tunnel found along the border with the Gaza Strip this week belonged to the Hamas terrorist movement, the IDF announced on Wednesday evening.
The tunnel, which was dug from the Khan Younis area in the Strip, was found by an the underground fence used by the IDF, according to the commander of the Gaza Division Nimrod Aloni.
Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi stated that the exposure of the tunnel showed that "the threats have not disappeared," during a tour of the underground coronavirus ward in Rambam Medical Center.
"These are 24 hours of operations in all sectors - there are challenges besides the coronavirus, and we are determined to address the existing threats and those that are still being considered," added Kochavi. "The IDF is engaged in war with both enemies and the coronavirus - wherever we have an advantage, we are there."
IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Hadi Zilberman emphasized on Tuesday that “the tunnel was still in the process of being built, so that at no point did it pose a danger to the surrounding towns. It will be neutralized in the next few days.”
Hours after the exposure of the tunnel was announced, a rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip towards southern Israel. The IDF intercepted the rocket and no damage or injuries were reported.
The IDF responded to the attack by striking underground infrastructure belonging to Hamas on Tuesday night.
"We have changed our policy of operation against the Gaza Strip and things do not go unanswered," said Defense Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz to KAN Reshet Bet radio in light of the announcement of the tunnel. "I do not work for Hamas, I respond according to my own considerations. The equation has changed - neither a balloon nor a rocket, nothing is acceptable."
"I call on the citizens of the south to continue with their lives, the IDF is guarding them. I need to be concerned, you can be quiet," added Gantz.
Tal Lev Ram/Maariv contributed to this report.