Islamic Jihad commander among terrorists killed as Israel destroys Gaza tunnel

by WorldTribune Staff, October 31, 2017

Seven Palestinian terrorists, including a top commander of Islamic Jihad, were killed on Oct. 30 when Israel blew up a tunnel being dug under the Gaza Strip border.

The tunnel was blown up on Israel’s side of the border, an Israeli military spokesman said.

The tunnel was being dug from the Gaza town of Khan Younis across the border into Israel, according to Israeli military spokesman Lt.-Col. Jonathan Conricus.

“The working assumption is that this is not the only tunnel that Palestinian terrorist organizations are trying to dig,” Conricus said.

A source for Islamic Jihad said the leader of the terrorist group’s armed wing in central Gaza along with a senior associate and other jihadists were killed while working in the tunnel when the explosion occurred. Islamic Jihad vowed revenge, saying “all options are open for response.”

Conricus noted that Israel’s action in destroying the tunnel was carried out on its own side of the border.

“The IDF (Israel Defense Forces) does not intend to escalate the situation but stands prepared for a variety of scenarios,” Conricus said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said “groundbreaking technology” was instrumental in the discovery of the tunnel.

Israel has been constructing a sensor-equipped underground wall along the 60-kilometer (36-mile) Gaza border, aiming to complete the $1.1 billion project by mid-2019, Reuters reported.

UNRWA, the main UN welfare agency for Palestinians, said it had discovered “what appeared to be a tunnel” underneath one of its schools in Gaza on Oct. 15 and had sealed the cavity.

U.S. Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt tweeted on Oct. 30: “Hamas uses the world’s generosity to shield terror. Palestinians in Gaza deserve so much better.”

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