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Israel destroys tunnel from Gaza it says intended for attacks

AFP  |  Jerusalem 

said today it used a combination of air strikes and other means to destroy a tunnel stretching from the Strip into the country and continuing into

Israeli said the tunnel belonged to Palestinian Islamist movement and was intended for attacks as opposed to smuggling.

Such tunnels have been used to carry out attacks in the past.

He said he was not aware of any casualties from the destruction of the tunnel, which was still being built.

It ran underneath the main goods crossing between and the blockaded Strip -- known as Kerem Shalom -- as well as gas and fuel pipelines, he said.

According to Conricus, Israeli air strikes late Saturday along with other unspecified means were used to destroy the tunnel.

The strikes occurred within the Strip, while further means were carried out in Israeli territory.

The tunnel began east of the city of in the Gaza Strip, crossed into some 180 metres, then continued into for an unspecified length, with no exit point detected, he said.

Conricus said Israel had coordinated with on the operation.

The tunnel stretched a total length of around a kilometre and a half, he said.

Israel says it has been developing a new method to identify and destroy such tunnels, though it does not comment on details.

It is also building an underground wall in the area around the to stop such tunnels.

The latest tunnel was the third destroyed since late October by Israel, but it comes at a particularly sensitive time.

Tensions between Palestinians and Israel have been high since US Donald Trump's recognition of as Israel's capital on December 6.

Unrest has included rockets being fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel, with Israel's military responding with air strikes.

Conricus said today Israel was defending its sovereignty with the destruction of the tunnel and was not seeking an escalation.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, January 14 2018. 14:10 IST