Skip to main content

Israel army says found, blocked 'attack' tunnel from Gaza

— Jerusalem (AFP)

Israel's army said Monday it had discovered and blocked a tunnel leading out of the Gaza Strip that had been dug by the Palestinian enclave's Hamas rulers.

Israel says the militant group aims to use so-called attack tunnels to infiltrate fighters and abduct Israeli soldiers or civilians as bargaining chips in prisoner exchanges.

The Israeli military said it had identified the tunnel "with two routes belonging to the Hamas terrorist organisation, dug from the northern Gaza Strip".

The tunnel had "crossed into Israeli territory", said Brigadier General Nimrod Aloni, the outgoing commander of the Gaza division.

However, he said it stopped short of an underground concrete barrier and therefore "did not pose a threat to Israeli communities in the area near the Gaza Strip".

The army said the tunnel was "neutralised", adding in a statement to AFP that it had been "partly filled with engineering materials".

"This left the tunnel sealed off, unreachable. Explosives were not used in the process," it added.

Hamas responded that "the Palestinian resistance has the right to use all means to enhance its capabilities against the arrogance and criminality" of Israel.

The news came just over a week after a three-day conflict between Israel and Islamic Jihad militants in Gaza ended with an Egyptian-brokered truce.

At least 49 Palestinians, including several Islamic Jihad fighters and 17 children, were killed in the violence, while in Israel shrapnel wounded three people.

Groups in Gaza, a densely populated coastal territory home to 2.3 million people, have used tunnels since 2007 when Israel imposed a crippling blockade in response to Hamas seizing power there.

Smugglers also established a network of tunnels on the border with Egypt to import everything from household goods to cars and weapons.

In recent years, Egypt has destroyed most of those tunnels.

In December, Israeli authorities announced that they had completed construction of a barrier along the Gaza border, described as an "iron wall" equipped with underground sensors, radars and cameras to counter threats.

Join hundreds of Middle East professionals with Al-Monitor PRO.

Business and policy professionals use PRO to monitor the regional economy and improve their reports, memos and presentations. Try it for free and cancel anytime.


The Middle East's Best Newsletters

Join over 50,000 readers who access our journalists dedicated newsletters, covering the top political, security, business and tech issues across the region each week.
Delivered straight to your inbox.


What's included:
Our Expertise

Free newsletters available:

  • The Takeaway & Week in Review
  • Middle East Minute (AM)
  • Daily Briefing (PM)
  • Business & Tech Briefing
  • Security Briefing
  • Gulf Briefing
  • Israel Briefing
  • Palestine Briefing
  • Turkey Briefing
  • Iraq Briefing

Premium Membership

Join the Middle East's most notable experts for premium memos, trend reports, live video Q&A, and intimate in-person events, each detailing exclusive insights on business and geopolitical trends shaping the region.

$25.00 / month
billed annually

Become Member Start with 1-week free trial

We also offer team plans. Please send an email to and we'll onboard your team.

What's included:
Our Expertise AI-driven

Memos - premium analytical writing: actionable insights on markets and geopolitics.

Live Video Q&A - Hear from our top journalists and regional experts.

Special Events - Intimate in-person events with business & political VIPs.

Trend Reports - Deep dive analysis on market updates.

All premium Industry Newsletters - Monitor the Middle East's most important industries. Prioritize your target industries for weekly review:

  • Capital Markets & Private Equity
  • Venture Capital & Startups
  • Green Energy
  • Supply Chain
  • Sustainable Development
  • Leading Edge Technology
  • Oil & Gas
  • Real Estate & Construction
  • Banking

Start your PRO membership today.

Join the Middle East's top business and policy professionals to access exclusive PRO insights today.

Join Al-Monitor PRO Start with 1-week free trial