The IDF has neutralised a tunnel from Gaza into Israel described as the “longest and deepest of its kind” ever discovered.
The tunnel, which stretched for “several kilometres” from Jabaliya in Northern Gaza, had already reached into Israel towards the direction of Kibbutz Nahal Oz. An exit for the tunnel had not yet been made.
Lt Col Jonathan Conricus, official spokesperson for the IDF, said it was the fifth tunnel which had been neutralised in the last five months. Rather than blowing up the tunnel, Lt Col Conricus said the Israeli military had “filled the tunnel with material that renders it useless for a very long period of time,"
The spokesperson also said that the tunnel had been constructed since the 2014 Gaza war.
"This specific tunnel was a complicated and high-quality one, in the sense that it was a network of tunnels [penetrating Israel from] the northern part of the Gaza Strip," he said.
Hamas, which controls the Gaza strip, has been digging tunnels into Israel for over a decade. In 2006, Hamas operatives used one of these tunnels to kill and wound a number of Israeli soldiers, abducting Corporal Gilad Shalit in the process. During the 2014 war, the IDF found and destroyed over 30 different tunnels which had been dug by Hamas.
Lt Col Conricus said that the IDF had been aware of the existence of the tunnel for a considerable time, but only acted to incapacitate it once it had reached into Israel.