Israel Air Force Strikes Gaza Attack Tunnel, Military Says
The Israeli military said the air force struck an attack tunnel in Gaza Saturday evening. Explosions were heard in the Strip’s north.
According to the Israel Defense Forces, the tunnel was located a few meters from Israeli territory and, upon completion, would have led to the Israeli community of Kibbutz Erez.
Major Avichay Adraee, head of Arabic communications for the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, posted a video of the attack on his Twitter account.
The inside of the tunnel that was the target of Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip on May 12, 2018.IDF Spokesman
#عاجل قام #جيش_الدفاع مساء اليوم بإحباط #نفق إرهابي هجومي أخر تابع لمنظمة #حماس الإرهابية في منطقة معبر #إيرز. لقد تم احباط مسار النفق من خلال غارة جوية لمقاتلات حربية. pic.twitter.com/yzZJoT7Z1k
— افيخاي ادرعي (@AvichayAdraee) May 12, 2018
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Palestinian reports said Israel fired seven missiles toward an agricultural area east of the city of Beit Hanoun. No casualties have been reported.
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In response to the attack, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Hamas is "spreading slogans about its desire for a long-term hudna," using the Arabic word for truce.
– Beit Hanoun
"In practice, it continues to dig terror tunnels into the territory of the State of Israel. We do not buy this bluff," he wrote on his Twitter account. "We will continue, in the evening, to strike at terrorist infrastructures. The only formula in question is demilitarization in exchange for rehabilitation," he added.
– Lieberman tweet on attack in Gaza
חמאס מפזרת ססמאות על רצונה ב'הודנה' ארוכת טווח אבל בפועל ממשיכה לחפור מנהרות טרור לשטח מדינת ישראל. אנחנו לא קונים את הבלוף הזה. נמשיך, כמו הערב, לפגוע בתשתיות הטרור. הנוסחה היחידה שבאה בחשבון היא פירוז תמורת שיקום.
— אביגדור ליברמן (@AvigdorLiberman) May 12, 2018
Lieberman tweet on attack in Gaza
Shortly after the strike, Gaza’s Health Ministry reported that a 15-year-old Palestinian died of wounds he sustained during Friday’s protests along the border. The ministry identified him as Jamal Abu Arahman Afaneh. The development brings the death toll of Friday’s protest up to two.
Earlier Saturday evening, Lieberman announced that Israel is closing the Kerem Shalom crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip due to arson caused by Palestinian protesters along the border.
According to the Israeli army, the crossing will be closed except for humanitarian cases that will be approved on an individual basis. The crossing, the only one through which cargo passes from Israel to Gaza, will stay closed until the damage caused by the arson is repaired.
Palestinians protesting along the border Friday set fire to a pipeline through which Israel supplies gas and fuel to Gaza and a conveyor belt near the crossing, causing millions of shekels in damages.
This is the second consecutive week that demonstrators have set fire to the Palestinian side of the crossing.