One of terror tunnels created by Hamas and discovered in 2014 [Photo Source: Israel Defense Forces]
On the night of March 17, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) thwarted an attempt by the terrorist organization Hamas to renew an old terror tunnel directed towards the Kerem Shalom crossing in southern Israel. The IDF neutralized the tunnel without any casualties whatsoever. In their report, the IDF said that currently there is no immediate threat towards the Kerem Shalom crossing and nearby areas.
This is one of the first times Hamas tried to reuse an old terror tunnel. Hamas attempted to reuse an old tunnel that was discovered in 2014 by building a new one nearby, with the intention to link them together and thereby render the old one usable again. The IDF was able to thwart the attempts to link up with the old terror tunnel before the new one was able to penetrate into Israeli territory.
In response to the discovery of the terror tunnel, the IDF targeted military complexes in the Gaza Strip belonging to Hamas. The IDF strike was also in response to the discovery of Improvised explosive device (IED) that exploded on Saturday adjacent to the security fence in the northern Gaza Strip. The explosion of Saturday’s IED comes one month after Arab terrorists inside Gaza attached an IED to a flag to mask the explosive device and detonated the IED near the border fence with Israel proper. During that weekend’s Arab riots, which unfortunately are all too common in the coastal enclave, the terrorists detonated the masked IED and four IDF soldiers, who were stationed near the fence, were wounded, two severely.
In January, the announced that earlier that day they destroyed another Hamas attack tunnel, the third in under three months. That tunnel also passed under the Kerem Shalom border crossing. Despite the IDF’s advanced technology and preparedness for the building of the terrorist tunnels, Hamas continues to divert funds and materials from international human rights efforts to the digging and construction of these terrorist projects.
The terror tunnels that Israel has been successfully targeting in recent months and years are part of a network of tunnels that were first discovered during the military operation referred to as Operation Cast Lead. Operation Cast Lead refers to a 2008 ground incursion into Gaza by the IDF to stop the barrage of rockets that were fired from Gaza into Israel and to stop the illegal smuggling of weapons in and out of Gaza.