vrijdag 1 november 2013
4 Hamas gunmen killed, 5 soldiers injured in clash at ‘terror tunnel’
One soldier was seriously wounded and another was in moderate condition Friday after an IDF operation Thursday night to destroy part of a tunnel, east of Khan Younis just inside the Gaza Strip, was targeted by Hamas. A total of five soldiers were injured when an explosive device planted by Hamas detonated, the IDF said in a statement.
Four members of Hamas’s armed wing, Izz ad-Din al-Qassam, were killed in the clash, including three of the Islamist group’s tunnel and rocket experts, an Israeli military source said.
The IDF had braced for the possibility of soldiers being targeted in the operation to destroy the tunnel, including possible kidnap attempts, the military source said. The explosive device, planted by Hamas in the weeks since the tunnel was first detected and revealed by the IDF, may have been detonated by a drill used by one of the IDF troops in the operation, the source added.
Senior members of the IDF’s Combat Engineering corps were involved in the operation, and were among those injured, the source added. The Israeli Air Force later targeted another tunnel in the southern Gaza Strip, confirming a direct hit.
Hamas-run TV in Gaza said that its forces laid out a “sophisticated” improvised explosive device (IED) for the soldiers, adding that this was a “slap in the face to those who claim the resistance is dead.” A Hamas spokesman threatened that the Strip would be “a graveyard for the invaders.”
The IDF’s Southern Command chief, Maj. Gen. Sami Turgeman, said the tunnel dug under the border was a terrorist initiative, and that Israel crossed into Gaza to eliminate the threat it posed. “Quiet will be met with quiet,” he said, but if Hamas continued instigating terrorism, it would be met with a forceful IDF response.
Lees: Bom bij grens met Gaza verwondt vijf soldaten
tunnel dug by Palestinians beneath the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel and recently uncovered by Israeli troops, on October 13, 2013.