Islamic Jihad planned to infiltrate Israel through tunnels from Gaza

The IDF has learned that Palestinian Islamic Jihad commanders wanted their terrorists to use the Gaza tunnel to infiltrate Israel, but they refused to enter.

 (TOP) A fighter from the Izz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ armed wing, is seen inside an underground tunnel, in Gaza, August 18, 2014.  (photo credit: MOHAMMED SALEM/REUTERS)
(TOP) A fighter from the Izz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ armed wing, is seen inside an underground tunnel, in Gaza, August 18, 2014.
(photo credit: MOHAMMED SALEM/REUTERS)

Palestinian Islamic Jihad was preparing to carry out operations that included infiltrating into Israeli territory during Operation Breaking Dawn, which led to a high level of preparedness in the South as well as in Israel's intelligence community.

During the operation, the IDF was paying close attention to the terrorist group's activity around one of its more popular tunnels, and security forces expected that it was being prepared for infiltration use in Israel.

According to Walla, while the commanders of Islamic Jihad intended for an operation to be carried out, the terrorists in the field refused to enter the tunnels.

Why are Islamic Jihad operatives scared of the tunnels?

The IDF presumes that the terrorist organizations in Gaza are wary of using the tunnels because of what happened during Operation Guardian of the Walls in May of last year when the IDF showed that it was able to directly hit tunnels that were dug at a depth of 20-30 meters while there are terrorists in them. Two tunnels in Gaza were hit with Hamas terrorists inside.

Hamas tunnel that stretched several meters into Israel and was discovered by the IDF near Kissufim forest. (credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)Hamas tunnel that stretched several meters into Israel and was discovered by the IDF near Kissufim forest. (credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)

According to a senior defense official, the massive hit that Hamas took last year was more psychological than anything else: Palestinian terrorists are now scared of the IDF's ability to target them inside the tunnels

Was the Gaza terrorist tunnel destroyed?

On the last day of the operation, the decision was made to attack the tunnel in order to cause as much damage to it as possible since the IDF doesn't have the means to entirely destroy underground tunnels.

Following the approval to attack, the task was carried out under the direction of the Southern Command's Maj.-Gen. Eliezer Toledano.

Sources from the IDF clarified that the tunnel did not cross all the way into Israeli territory but ended next to the border where an underground wall has been installed to stand against the tunnels.