Israel destroys Gaza tunnel

Palestinian security forces patrolling Bethlehem in 2013

The United Nations agency responsible for Palestinian refugees revealed on Sunday it had notified Israel that it had discovered a Hamas terror tunnel under a school in the Gaza Strip operated by UNRWA - the United Nations Relief Works Agency - two weeks ago. Paltoday, a website that supports Islamic Jihad, said the tunnel belonged to that militant movement's armed wing.

"The Zionist terror government must realize that we will not hesitate to protect our people and our land", Islamic Jihad spokesman Dawood Shehab said on Twitter, adding that the terror group "is considering all of its options", including the "option of responding to this aggression". Abbas said he would not appoint Hamas members to serve in a Palestinian unity cabinet if they do not openly and publicly recognize the State of Israel.

He said the tunnel was still being dug and no opening was found in Israeli territory.

Lieutenant-Colonel Jonathan Conricus, an Israeli military spokesman, said the tunnel destroyed on Monday was in the process of being dug from the Gaza town of Khan Younis across the border, where it was blown up. The IDF said that it was still under active construction by Hamas at the time of demolition.

"Those who try to harm us, we harm them", said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. "Today, we located a tunnel and we destroyed it". He added that the IDF had good intelligence on the tunnel's outline and it did not pose an immediate danger, however, in the end, it was decided it would be preferable to attack it.

On the Israeli side, the tunnel terminated near the Israeli community of Kibbutz Kissufim.

Manelis stressed that Israel is not seeking an escalation in Gaza and has no interest in a military confrontation there.

An Israeli soldier walks near the border line, between Israel and the Gaza Strip, in Israel October 30, 2017.

According to the Palestinian News Agency Wafa, the meeting focused on Israeli settlements and on lifting the blockade of the Gaza Strip, as well as financial issues related to financial entitlements provided by the Palestinian Authority.

The tunnel was reportedly discovered around two weeks ago, and prompted the United Nations agency to close the school while it sealed the tunnel's opening.

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