IDF discovers 'explosives laden' Gaza Strip tunnel leading into Israeli town
Israeli forces discovered a secret tunnel leading from the Gaza Strip to the Israeli town of Kibbutz Ein HaShlosha loaded with explosives on Thursday, according to Israeli news agency Ynet.
The tunnel was apparently 2.5 km (1.2 miles) long and began near Abasan al-Saghira, just east of Khan Younis, and ended near the Israeli town of Kibbutz Ein HaShlosha.
Reports on the tunnel's length, however, have been conflicting. Security sources quoted in the Jerusalem Post said that the tunnel was merely "over 120 meters in length."
Israeli security sources suggested that it was set up to carry out a "large-scale infiltration and attack." Over the weekend Israeli forces defused explosives and sealed off additional tunnels leading from the main tunnel, according to Ynet.
Israeli forces found the tunnel mid-week but were under a "gag order" not to reveal its existence until Sunday morning, according to Israel National News.
The Gaza Strip has been under a severe economic blockade imposed by Israel since 2007.
The blockade has severely limited the imports and exports of the Gaza Strip and has led to frequent humanitarian crises and hardship for Gazans. These have been particularly severe given frequent Israeli military assaults, particularly in 2008-9 and 2011, which killed around 1,400 and 170 Gazans respectively and led to major infrastructural damage.
Israeli forces regularly shoot farmers and other civilians inside the Gaza Strip if they approach the border fence, most recently on Sept. 30 when they opened fire on a group of farmers nearby.