Israeli army destroys cross-border Hamas tunnel under Gaza crossing


Israel said Sunday it used a combination of air strikes and other means to destroy a tunnel stretching from the Gaza Strip into the country and continuing into Egypt.

Military spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus noted that the tunnel's route stretched underneath the Kerem Shalom crossing, where 15 million tons of food, clothing, construction material and other essential goods had been transferred into Gaza since the 2014 war. Israel and Egypt have maintained a crippling blockade on Gaza since Hamas seized power in 2007.

He said Israeli jets struck part of the tunnel and a new set of sophisticated "tools" destroyed the rest. The crossing has been closed till further notice.

The strikes occurred within the Gaza Strip, while further means were carried out in Israeli territory.

The tunnel began east of the city of Rafah in the Gaza Strip, crossed into Israel some 180 meters, then continued into Egypt for an unspecified length, with no exit point detected, he said.

Conricus said Israel had coordinated with Egypt on the operation.

The army said they didn't know whether they killed or injured anyone during the incident.

The latest tunnel was the third destroyed since late October by Israel, but it comes at a particularly sensitive time.

Tensions between Palestinians and Israel have been high since U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital on December 6.

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