Israel smashes terror tunnel

ISRAEL on Sunday destroyed a Hamas terror tunnel that stretched from the Gaza Strip, though Israel and into Egypt.

The mile-long tunnel ran past Israeli military posts as well as gas and fuel pipelines.

It also went beneath the Kerem Shalom border crossing Gaza's main point of entry for humanitarian aid.

It was the third such tunnel Israel has destroyed over the past two months.

Military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus said Israeli jets struck part of the tunnel and a new set of sophisticated "tools" destroyed the rest.

He added that forces had been monitoring its construction for some time and that an imminent attack on Israelis was possible.

"We now hold a method, an organised system to destroy terror tunnels dug into Israel," he said

Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said the tunnel's construction was a clear violation of Israeli sovereignty and destroying it delivered a stinging blow to one of Hamas' most significant assets.

"The message to Gaza's leadership and residents is clear invest in the sanctity of life and not these burial tunnels," he added.

The crossing was closed, but later reopened.

Israel has made neutralising the tunnel threat a top priority since its 2014 war, when Hamas terrorists 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.

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