Israeli authorities have announced on Monday the discovery of a new tunnel from the Gaza Strip into Israel built recently by Hamas, an Islamic group that controls the Gaza region. The tunnel is thought to be new and unfinished.
The Gaza tunnel is the first one found and “neutralized” after the cease-fire that ended the 50-days of fighting in the Palestinian coastal territory in 2014. Its discovery was the result of the combined effort of technology, intelligence, engineering and troops on the ground, according to Colonel Lerner, a military official.
Lerner added that the construction was equipped with electricity, communications lines and its own rail lines that allowed its builders to clear rubble. The tunnels did not have an end due to it was still under construction, but it was 100 to 130 feet underground, as reported by the New York Times.
Other details such as its technology, location or the methods used to its discovery were not publicly discussed, as the authorities believed there may be more tunnels underneath. According to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel has achieved a global breakthrough in the ability to locate tunnels.
“The government is investing considerable capital in countering the tunnel threat. This is an ongoing effort that will not end overnight,” said Netanyahu.
The Hamas’ tunnel could have been used to elaborate terrorist attacks in the city, as they have previously been used. They were once used as a mechanism to carry ambushes against Israeli forces. During the 2014 conflict, the military assured to have destroyed over 32 tunnels.
An ongoing threat
Israeli government has stated that Hamas is most likely to be trying to rebuild their tunnel’s network, which was heavily destroyed during the war. They may also be restocking their munitions, they added.
But even though authorities are battling against this tunnel networks, the fear of the community in the borders increases as they report hearing the sounds of digging underground. About a dozen Palestinians have been killed in recent months after some of the constructions have collapsed.
The terrorist group has also being accused by the Israeli government of spending millions of dollars and materials, aimed to rebuilt Gaza after the war, into rebuilding the tunnels.
Source: New York Times