On a tour of the underground tunnel from Gaza into a kibbutz in southern Israel, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro said that he was “shocked” by the find.
“I saw photos of the tunnel, but seeing it is shocking. It is clear that that the purpose of the tunnel was to attack soldiers and citizens,” Shapiro said.
The terror tunnel that was exposed began in the Gaza town of Absan al-Zariz, located between the city of Khan Younis and the Gaza security fence. It extended for 2.5 kilometers (over 1.5 miles).
The tunnel had been packed with explosives at various points. Several offshoots had been dug leading off in various directions. Special IDF engineering troops with the Yahalom unit went along the tunnel over the weekend neutralizing explosives and locating and sealing offshoots.
“There is no justification for this in our eyes,” Shapiro said. “In no way will the US allow this.”
The U.S. encourages dialog between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, said Shapiro, and that will not change.
“We are concentrating on the efforts of Israel and the PA to discuss ways to resolve the conflict, but at the same time we support Israel's right to defend itself..."
"The U.S.,” he added, “fully condemns these acts by terror groups.”