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Tunnel May Signal Shift In Hamas-Israel Conflict

The tunnel recently discovered between Gaza and Israel may have been designed for kidnapping Israeli soldiers or for military operations in Israel.
Israeli soldiers stand guard inside a tunnel exposed by the Israeli military near Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha, just outside the southern Gaza Strip October 13, 2013. Israel displayed on Sunday what it called a Palestinian "terror tunnel" running into its territory from the Gaza Strip and said it was subsequently freezing the transfer of building material to the enclave. REUTERS/Amir Cohen (ISRAEL - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST MILITARY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) - RTX149S4
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GAZA CITY — There has been a lot of talk in the Gaza Strip about the Israeli army’s announcement on Oct. 10 that it had discovered a tunnel dug by Palestinians from east of Abasan, in southern Gaza, to the nearby kibbutz of Ein Hashlosha, in Israel.

During a tour of the area near the tunnel's discovery, Al-Monitor learned from Palestinian military sources that the passageway lies 20 meters underground, is 2.5 kilometers long, and has a ceiling high enough to accommodate a man of average height. The tunnel is also remarkably wide. Its construction required 800 tons of concrete and cost an estimated $10 million. Some 100 workers toiled on it for more than two years. It was equipped with a communications network and electricity and contained stockpiles of cookies, yoghurt and other foods to allow for stays of several months.

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