The Israel Defense Forces revealed on Sunday that it detected and destroyed a new tunnel dug by Hamas which penetrated several meters into Israeli territory from the northern Gaza Strip. Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman called it the "longest and deepest tunnel discovered so far."
The tunnel was discovered in the Jabalya area of the northern Gaza Strip, near one of the locations where Palestinians have been staging mass protests along the volatile Israel-Gaza border fence for the past several weeks.
According to the IDF, the "attack tunnel" burrowed "tens of meters" into Israeli territory towards the border community of Nahal Oz, and was connected to a network of other tunnels burrowed under the Palestinian enclave.
The IDF said that the tunnel was the fifth such tunnel detected and destroyed by Israel in recent months. The route of the terror tunnel was identified by security forces early on and monitored thereafter. The tunnel was destroyed by pumping unspecified materials into it that make it impossible to reconstruct.
"Hamas continues to invest enormous resources in futile terrorist efforts instead of investing them in the welfare of Gaza residents," the IDF said in a statement.
"In recent months, and more intensively in recent weeks, the Hamas terrorist organization has been active in order to turn the fence into a zone of terror and fighting," it added, calling protests taking place along the border "a cover for terrorist attempts both above and below ground."