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Israeli military discovers and destroys 14 openings to terror tunnels in Gaza killing 110 terrorists in the process

By Mason White 2:42 PM July 21, 2014
Israeli soldiers uncover terror tunnel in Gaza 

By: Aryeh Savir
The Israel Defense Forces had discovered and destroyed 14 openings to terror tunnels since the beginning of the Gaza ground invasion, the Tazpit News Agency reported.

Heavy fighting continues in Gaza, primarily in the Shuja’iya neighborhood, which Hamas uses as a fortress for its weapons, rockets, tunnels and command centers.

Hamas exploits the neighborhood’s residents as human shields for its terrorist activity. Urban warfare in Gaza presents a unique set of challenge as civilians are present, a tunnel network runs underneath the battlefield and terrorists are familiar with the terrain.

Since the beginning of the ground phase of the operation, IDF soldiers have found 14 openings to terror tunnels in Shuja’iya

On Sunday, IDF forces have detected and detonated 6 tunnels both in the Gaza Strip area and in Israeli territory. The tunnels posed an imminent threat to the safety of Israeli civilians living in communities along the Gaza Strip border, and they were used recently to attack Israeli civilian communities within Israel.

One of the tunnels uncovered in the southern Gaza Strip, had 4 access points to it, one of them in Israel. During the detonation, several secondary explosions were heard, suggesting it contained explosives. One of the access points in Gaza was uncovered inside a house. The tunnel was 1.2 kilometers long (0.75 miles).

Speaking about the tunnel city under Gaza, IDF Spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said: “Since the beginning of the ground phase of the operation, the IDF has exposed 14 tunnels headed towards Israel, all intended to infiltrate and carry out terror attacks. It’s like the ‘Underground’, the ‘Metro’ or the ‘Subway.’ These tunnels are all connected. I would describe it as ‘Lower Gaza.’”

Thirteen IDF soldiers of the Golani Brigade were killed in the Gaza Strip over the past 24 hours in several different incidents, bringing the total number of killed soldiers in Operation Protective Edge to 18.

The IDF published the names of five killed soldiers. On Monday, they will be laid to rest at military cemeteries across Israel.

Making a statement to the press, IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz said that while the Army suffered more losses in the past 24 hours than it did in previous days, “we understand that in battle, some are killed. We know that this is our job and this is what we’re doing. The battles in some of these areas are both complex and difficult, and despite that we remain determined to reach our objectives.”

The chief of staff praised the work of the IDF soldiers, and said that the army was continuing to expand and intensify its operations. “Terrorists are hit, and infrastructure is hit and destroyed in every area we enter,” he added.

Relating to the continuation of the operation, Defense Minister Ya’alon stated that the operation will continue until there is quiet, adding that the IDF will draft more reservists if necessary.

He estimated that it would take another two or three days to complete most of the mission to hunt and destroy the terror tunnels.

Since the beginning of the ground phase of the operation, the IDF engaged and killed 110 terrorist, and targeted 1,032 terror sites, 341 of which were targeted on Monday alone. Among the sites that were targeted were rocket launching facilities, command and control headquarters, and underground rocket launchers.