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Israel destroys tunnel linking Gaza, Israel

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Palestinians pray in front of Rafah border crossing between Gaza Strip and Egypt on Jan 16, 2015 to protest against the closing of the border.

 Palestinians pray in front of Rafah border crossing between Gaza Strip and Egypt on Jan 16, 2015 to protest against the closing of the border.
Palestinians pray in front of Rafah border crossing between Gaza Strip and Egypt on Jan 16, 2015 to protest against the closing of the border.

The Israeli army destroyed an underground tunnel connecting eastern Gaza city and Israel early, Xinhua news agency reported citing witnesses and the Israeli military.

The witnesses said they saw unusual movement of Israeli army vehicles near the border between the eastern Gaza neighborhood of Sheja’eya and Israel.

An Israel Defence Forces (IDF) spokesperson confirmed that Israeli forces have demolished a tunnel penetrating into Israeli territory from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

A huge explosion was clearly heard and houses were shaking, the witnesses said.

The Israeli military spokesperson said in a statement that “the IDF did not enter the Gaza Strip during the operation”.

“All of the activities took place on the Israeli side of the (security) fence.”

On July 8, the Israeli army waged a 50-day large-scale operation on the Gaza Strip, and said the aim of the operation, mainly the ground part of it, was to destroy tunnels used by militants in carrying out armed attacks into Israel.

The offensive killed more than 2,200 Palestinians, at last 70 percent of them civilians, and claimed the lives of 73 people in Israel, all but six soldiers.

The Israeli military said it destroyed 31 cross-border tunnels during the fighting, after Hamas militants carried out two tunnel attacks, during which militants crossed into Israeli territory and killed seven soldiers.