As part of the ongoing war against terrorism and its infrastructure, IDF infantry, armor, and combat engineering forces operated overnight (April 30, 2003) in the Sha’ar neighborhood in the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.

During the operation, IDF forces searched a number of buildings suspected of concealing weapon smuggling tunnels. In addition, IDF forces demolished four abandoned structures located along the demarcation line of the Israel-Egypt border, an area under full Israeli security control where IDF forces move.

In this area, weapons smuggling tunnels are dug, as are explosive tunnels meant to harm IDF soldiers moving along the route.

House demolitions are part of systematic IDF operations to damage and destroy the network of smuggling tunnels with the clear objective of minimizing the threat of gunfire and explosive charges.

Since September 2000, the Israel-Egypt border has been the site of numerous explosive attacks against IDF forces. During the past four months, more than 40 anti-tank missiles, 14 explosive charges, and tens of grenades have been directed at IDF forces along the Israeli-Egypt border, near Rafah.

Since September 2000, IDF forces have uncovered and destroyed over 50 weapons smuggling tunnels, including 17 since the beginning of the year.

IDF forces will continue to operate against terrorism and its infrastructure in order to ensure the safety of Israeli citizens and IDF soldiers.