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A general view of the interior of a cross-border attack tunnel dug from Gaza to Israel, near Kissufim, seen on January 18, 2018.(Photo by: REUTERS/JACK GUEZ)
IDF discovers another Gaza tunnel leading into Israel
By ANNA AHRONHEIM
07/09/2019
The project is being carried out by the Defense Ministry’s Engineering and Construction Department and the Border and Sewage Administration.
Another cross-border tunnel dug into Israeli territory was discovered in the southern part of the Gaza Strip during construction of the country’s underground barrier, the IDF announced on Monday evening.

“At this time, IDF soldiers are conducting an investigation of the passage,” the IDF said. “More information will be provided shortly.”

It is unclear if the tunnel was newly dug by terror groups in the Strip or if it was an old unused tunnel.

The Eshkol Regional Council said that the tunnel was found by “groundbreaking technological defenses that are used along the Gaza border to protect our communities. The tunnel is not a threat and is being handled by the IDF.”

Israel’s military has been investing extensive efforts in locating cross-border tunnels from Gaza, and has destroyed 16 terror tunnels that infiltrated into Israeli territory in the past two years, including one tunnel that stretched into both Israel and Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula near the Kerem Shalom crossing.

The IDF also destroyed an operational naval tunnel that extended into the Mediterranean and would have enabled terrorists who would enter from a Hamas military post in the northern Gaza Strip to exit into the sea unnoticed.

A total of 18 cross-border tunnels have been discovered and destroyed since the end of Operation Protective Edge in 2014.
The IDF has also completed some 30 kilometers of the new underground and maritime barrier to cut off Hamas tunnels while strengthening the fence above ground.

The new above-ground barrier will be 65 kilometers long, stretching along the route of the border from the new sea barrier near Zikim beach in the north to Kerem Shalom crossing in the south. Made from galvanized steel, it will weigh about 20,000 tons and will reach a height of about six meters.

The smart-fence is the above-ground part of Israel’s underground barrier, which has a system of advanced sensors and monitoring devices to detect tunnels.

The project is being carried out by the Defense Ministry’s Engineering and Construction Department and the Border and Sewage Administration.

The 200-meter sea barrier, which has been completed, is made up of three layers, including one below the sea level that is lined with seismic detectors and other tools, a layer of armored stone, and a third layer in the form of a mound. In addition to the three layers, a six-meter (20-foot) smart fence surrounds the breakwater to provide a final security measure.

The decision to build an upgraded naval barrier was decided upon after five Hamas frogmen (naval commandos) tried to infiltrate Kibbutz Zikim during Operation Protective Edge in 2014 armed with automatic weapons, fragmentation grenades and several types of explosives devices. They were engaged and killed by the IDF in a combined attack from the sea, ground and air.
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