PA chairman and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas
PA chairman and Fatah leader Mahmoud AbbasReuters

The Fatah movement, headed by Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas, on Monday issued a statement condemning what it called "the Israeli crime directed against our people in Gaza, which resulted in the deaths of eight civilians and the wounding of 14 others."

The statement was referring to the IDF destroying terror tunnels leading from Gaza into Israel, during which terrorists were killed, including a senior member of the Islamic Jihad.

Fatah claimed that the destruction of the tunnel was “part of the policy of fleeing adopted by successive Israeli governments in an attempt to evade the corruption cases at the expense of the blood of the Palestinian people."

Earlier on Monday, Hamas's military wing also condemned Israel and said it believed the destruction of the tunnel was "an attempt by the enemy to impose new rules by committing crimes and attacks against our land, our jihad fighters and our people."

The Islamic Jihad warned that the destruction of the network of terror tunnels constituted a "dangerous escalation".

"The Israeli bombing is part of a dangerous and planned escalation aimed at changing the situation and damaging the reconciliation between the factions," a spokesperson for the terrorist organization said.

The IDF responded to the threats by terrorist groups in Gaza on Monday evening, saying it did not set out to kill terrorists, let alone senior officials in terrorist organizations, during the destruction of the tunnels.

IDF spokesperson Brigadier General Ronen Manelis stated, "The operation in which a terrorist tunnel was bombed this afternoon was carried out in Israeli territory. The intention was for the explosion to knock the tunnel out of commission."

"The IDF did not use any explosives or materials that are forbidden for use. The officials arrived only to rescue those who were trapped inside [the tunnel]. And they were hit by the explosives in the tunnel,” he added.