JERUSALEM, April 18 (UPI) -- The Israel Defense Forces announced they found a tunnel extending several hundred yards into Israel at the Gaza border.
An IDF statement said the concrete-lined tunnel, about 100 feet under ground, is equipped with electricity, ventilation and a rail track. It was discovered 10 days ago near the Israeli village of Sufa, about 3.5 miles from the border with Gaza. The statement says that the tunnel was "neutralized."
The Sufa tunnel is the first under-border tunnel found since the end of the 50-day war between Israel and Gaza in 2014, when Gazan forces used tunnels four times to penetrate Israeli territory. Hamas, the Palestinian organization that dominates Gaza's government, said the tunnel is an old tunnel and that its discovery was announced by the Israeli military "to gain continued U.S. support for its anti-tunnels project."
IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said in a statement: "The ugly truth is that Hamas continues to invest millions of dollars to build tunnels of terror and death. The tunnel uncovered in Israel demonstrates once more Hamas's warped priorities and continued commitment and investment in tools of violence."
The sophisticated tunnel is a demonstration of Gaza's only effective strategic tool in any military conflict with the superior firepower of the Israeli military, the Jerusalem Post observed Monday. It added that the IDF believes that if another conflict with Hamas occurs, the tunnels would be used to capture Israeli border communities and hold hostages.