Israeli army destroys undersea tunnel from besieged Gaza Strip

Press TV – The Israeli military has destroyed a tunnel from the northern part of the Gaza Strip, which purportedly gave frogmen from the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement unnoticeable access to the sea from their base in the besieged enclave.

Israel’s Hebrew-language Channel 2 television network reported on Sunday that the tunnel, which belonged to the naval force of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades – the military wing of Hamas, was targeted last week as Israeli military aircraft pounded over a dozen targets in Gaza.

Israeli military spokesman Jonathan Conricus told reporters that the tunnel was the first of its kind discovered by Israeli intelligence forces.

Cornicus added that it was probable there were more like it not yet located by Israel.

“We continue to monitor using all our operational, technical and intelligence capabilities that we have at our disposal,” he noted.

Conricus said the tunnel ran from a Hamas military facility into the Mediterranean Sea “a few dozen meters away” and had a depth underwater of two to three meters.

“It could have facilitated hostile activity against … Israel,” he said, adding that the tunnel’s underwater exit was about three kilometers (two miles) from the border with occupied territories.

Conricus highlighted that the tunnel had been used in Hamas training and was “operational.”

Palestinian protesters and paramedics carry a woman on a stretcher away from the scene of clashes with Israeli forces, along the border between the Gaza strip and occupied territories, east of Gaza City on June 8, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

The report comes as at least 129 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since the “Great March of Return” began in the Gaza Strip on March 30. Fourteen children are among the fallen Palestinians.

About 13,300 Palestinians also sustained injuries, of whom 300 are in a critical condition.

The occupied territories have witnessed new tensions ever since US President Donald Trump on December 6, 2017 announced Washington’s recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s “capital” and said the US would move its embassy to the city.

The dramatic decision triggered demonstrations in the occupied Palestinian territories and elsewhere in the world.

The status of Jerusalem al-Quds is the thorniest issue in the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Palestinians see East Jerusalem al-Quds as the capital of their future state.

Palestinian protestors pull a burning tire during a demonstration along the border with occupied territories, east of Jabalia in the central Gaza Strip on June 8, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

In a final communiqué issued following an emergency meeting in Istanbul on May 18, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) condemned the May 14 massacre of dozens of Gazans as “savage crimes committed by the Israeli forces with the backing of the US administration.”

It also urged the UN to “form an international investigation committee into the recent atrocities in the Gaza Strip, and enable the committee to initiate field investigation.”

The OIC further demanded “the international protection of the Palestinian population including through dispatching of international protection force” in the face of “unchecked crimes” committed by the Tel Aviv regime.