Defense minister halts transfer of construction supplies to the Strip after 500 tons of cement used to construct underground passage
An extensive subterranean passageway leading from Gaza into Israeli territory was the work of Hamas, which used some 500 tons of cement earmarked for civilian building in the Strip in the tunnel’s construction, the IDF said Sunday.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon responded immediately with a halt on the transfer of construction materials into the Strip.
Security forces last week discovered the terminus of the tunnel some 300 meters inside Israel proper, near Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha in the western Negev, and took several days to render the passage unusable. The IDF said Sunday it had been aware of the tunnel effort for some time, but had not previously found its exit point.
Maj. Gen. Shlomo Turgeman, the Southern Command head, said the tunnel, “a violation of our sovereignty,” had been built using around 500 tons of cement that “Israel allowed in [to Gaza] for civilian well-being.”
The tunnel, which began in Abbasan al-Saghira, a farming village near Khan Yunis, was described by officials as being 18 meters deep and 1,700 meters long. Officials estimate it took around a year to construct.
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