Israeli army uncover huge tunnel with explosives on Gaza border
Israeli soldiers Thursday night discovered a huge tunnel filled with explosives under the security fence between Israel and the southern Gaza Strip, Xinhua reported.
Speaking with reporters in a conference call not long after the discovery, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich said troops from an engineering battalion were working 1-to-200 meters in a restricted area cleared on the Gaza side of the fence, when a large explosion occurred, exposing the tunnel.
The force of the blast threw an unoccupied military vehicle 15 to 20 meters, and lightly hurt a soldier, she said.
The tunnel, buried four meters underground, was five meters in diameter and contained a "very large amount of explosives," according to Leibovich, who noted a string of improvised explosive device attacks by Palestinian militants against troops in the vicinity over the last few weeks.
While terming the discovery of the tunnel and explosives a " very severe, irregular event," the spokeswoman said she "wouldn't use the word escalation" to describe its significance, adding that the event was too fresh to assign responsibility.
The incident took place in the same area where Palestinians said Israeli soldiers had shot and killed a youth earlier in the day.
On Tuesday, three Israeli soldiers were wounded in a bombing by Palestinian militants along the fence in southern Gaza.