JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli military on Sunday said it has destroyed a tunnel built by the Hamas militant group that stretched from the Gaza Strip several hundred meters (yards) into Israeli territory, declaring a breakthrough in its war against underground threats from the Palestinian enclave.
Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, a military spokesman, told reporters that Israel had used a new set of “tools” developed since a 2014 war with Hamas in order to destroy the tunnel. He said forces had detected the tunnel months ago and continued to monitor construction efforts by Hamas militants before demolishing it.
Israel has made neutralizing the tunnel threat a top priority since that war, when Hamas militants on several occasions made their way into Israel. Although they did not manage to reach civilian areas, the infiltrations caught Israel off guard, killing five soldiers in one attack, and terrified the local population.
Conricus said a new system involving combat units, military intelligence, logistics and research had been used to destroy the tunnel. The system was first used to detect a tunnel that was destroyed on Oct. 30, but other aspects of the system were used this time around, he said.
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