Israeli forces stop Hamas tunnel attack
Thirteen members of Hamas crossed into Israeli territory via a tunnel dug in the southern Gaza Strip. (AFP/File)
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IDF forces foiled an attempt by Hamas terrorists to infiltrate a kibbutz near the Gaza frontier through an underground tunnel before dawn on Thursday, the army announced.
Soldiers manning the border area identified 13 terrorists who crossed into Israeli territory near Kibbutz Sufa through a tunnel that was dug in the southern Gaza Strip.
The army said that the troops "neutralized the threat." There was no exact number of casualties in the gunfire, though it was confirmed that no Israeli troops suffered injuries.
The army said it held Hamas responsible for the attempted attack.
IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Moti Almoz said the military received an alert at 4 a.m. on Thursday, and that intelligence units detected an attempt by terrorists in Gaza to enter Israel through an underground tunnel.
"Units arrived at the area, and terrorists were apparently surprised. They began returning to the tunnel. The air force began attacking them from the air," Almoz said. "We understand there are casualties [among the terrorists]. The full picture is not yet known," he added.
"This is another successful thwarting of a Hamas attack planned for the southern area. We are ready for these scenarios in the coming days," the IDF spokesman said.
The terrorists, who emerged on the Israeli side of the Gaza tunnel planned to either kidnap an Israeli or go on a killing spree in the Kibbutz Sufa area, Almoz said. "This is a significant success by us. Had we not succeeded, we would have woken up to 13 terrorists in a kibbutz," he added.