Aerial photo showing distance between the tunnel and Israeli territory (245 meters)
(Communicated by the IDF Spokesperson)
Last night (4 November), IDF and security forces uncovered a tunnel meant for the immediate abduction of IDF soldiers a distance of 250 meters from the security fence of the Gaza Strip. The operation was carried out by an IDF force close to the security fence inside the Gaza Strip, in order to thwart the intended terror attack. The force completed its mission and returned to Israel this morning.
The force successfully located a structure, under which a tunnel, designed to enable the immediate abduction of IDF soldiers, had been dug. During the operation, armed terrorists inside the structure opened fire at the IDF forces. The forces returned fire and identified positively hitting a number of them. Two IDF soldiers were moderately wounded and two were lightly injured. They were taken to hospital to receive immediate medical treatment.
The IDF Spokesperson emphasizes that this was a pinpoint operation intended to prevent an immediate threat. There is no intention to disrupt the calm, rather the purpose of the operation was to remove an immediate and dangerous threat posed by the Hamas terror organization. The building of the tunnel, located adjacent to the security fence, and intended for the abduction of Israeli soldiers, is a blatant violation of the calm.
The uncovering of the tunnel was facilitated by the joint efforts of the IDF Intelligence Branch, the Southern Command and the ISA.
The IDF and the Home Front Command took the necessary preventative action to ensure the protection of Israeli communities in the Southern Negev. The IDF is prepared for any attempt to disturb the stability of the area.
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The Palestinian terrorist organizations, led by Hamas, reacted immediately by launching several dozen rockets and mortar shells at western Negev population centers, in gross violation of the calm arrangement. The massive bombardment ended at noon on November 5, however, during the week sporadic rocket fire continued; 61 rockets were fired, 16 of which fell inside the Gaza Strip. Three landed in the Ashqelon region, one in the center of a residential area; three women were treated for shock. One rocket fell in an Israeli village and caused damage to a greenhouse. In addition, 18 mortar shells were fired.
Barrage of rockets and mortar fire strike western Negev and Ashkelon, Nov 5
(Photo: Rafael Ben-Ari/Chameleons Eye)