IDF Destroys 31 Terror Tunnels, 15 Terrorists

Significant developments overnight as Operation Protective Edge enters its seventeenth day.

Kobi Finkler, Tova Dvorin ,

Tanks gearing up for Gaza
Tanks gearing up for Gaza

The Golani Brigade uncovered yet another terror tunnel entry shaft in Gaza overnight Wednesday/Thursday, as Operation Protective Edge enters its seventeenth day.

In a separate incident, the Engineering Corps identified a number of terrorists leaving a tunnel shaft. The IAF struck the shaft, causing a number of injuries. 

Meanwhile, the Givati Brigade engaged in clashes with several Hamas terrorists, after finding a structure that served the terrorist organization. One terrorist opened fire at soldiers; the IDF responded and he was eliminated. 

The Paratroopers' Brigade killed a number of terrorists overnight, striking terror cells with mortar shells. 

"The past day has been marked by reinforcement of troops and means of engineering," a senior officer told Arutz Sheva Thursday morning. "We have 31 tunnels now in our hands, and we may have more." 

"Nine of them were destroyed or neutralized, and even today, this will be our main goal," he continued. "We will deepen our hold in the field and are on the go all the time so as not to hurt the soldiers." 

The IDF struck 35 terror targets in Gaza overnight. Since the operation began seventeen days ago, approximately 3,400 terror targets have been eliminated. Fifteen terrorists were eliminated in total overnight. 

Four soldiers will also be laid to rest on Thursday. 

Sergeant First Class Shahar Dauber, 19, from Kibbutz Ginegar, will be buried at 11:00 a.m. Thursday at the Kibbutz cemetery. 

The funeral of Sergeant First Class Daniel Pomerantz, who was killed Sunday, will be held at 6:00 pm Thursday in Kfar Azar.

Lieutenant Paz Eliyahu, 22, from Evron, will be buried at 5:00 pm Thursday at the Evron cemetery. 

Sergeant First Class Li Mat, 19, from Eilat, will be buried at 6:00 p.m. at Har Herzl military cemetery in Jerusalem.

Thirty-two soldiers and two civilians have died since the beginning of Israel's self-defense operation on July 8.