The Israel Air Force successfully targeted a tunnel leading from the northern Gaza Strip towards the Western Negev after midnight Saturday. The tunnel was intended to be used for an infiltration to execute a terrorist attack against Israeli citizens or IDF soldiers, military spokesmen said.
The IDF confirmed that the smuggling tunnel hidden within a Gaza home was destroyed. The IAF bombers safely returned to their base.
The tunnel was dug from underneath a building located 1.5 kilometers (approximately one mile) away from the security barrier. The attack was in response to a Kassam rocket fired from Gaza on the morning of the Sabbath, but the army did not explain why it waited until the rocket attack before bombing the smuggling tunnel.
The Kassam rocket was fired earlier in the day at the Sdot Negev region near northern Gaza crossings. The missile exploded in an open area, and no injuries or damage were reported.
At least 234 rockets and mortars have hit Israel since the end of Operation Cast Lead last January. Terrorists have escalated attacks over the past week, breaking a silence that had prevailed for several weeks.
Israel media generally have played down the attacks unless they cause damage or injuries.
Palestinian Authority media have increasingly reported false accounts of supposed Israeli incursions into Gaza. IDF spokesmen thoroughly dismissed Thursday’s account by the Bethlehem-based Ma'an news agency that Navy ships beheaded an Arab fisherman with artillery fire following a mortar shell attack and sniper fire at Israeli soldiers patrolling near Gaza crossings.
Incitement against Israel in PA media continues to be common despite the American Roadmap that specifically calls for the PA to halt provocations to violence and hatred.
South African Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu told Ma'an this week that Israel must talk with Hamas because "you don't make peace with friends; you negotiate with those who are regarded as pariahs.”
Elsewhere in Gaza, two bombs were set off at a Hamas prison and at the Gaza home of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who has not entered the area since the military coup in which the Hamas terrorist organization seized total control of the region two years ago.
No injuries were reported in the blasts.
Tutu also said that he previously has told de facto Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh that rocket attacks on Israel are violations of ”the right to life.”