IDF destroys underwater Hamas tunnel

A Molotov cocktail kite is seen flying over the Israeli side of the border as thousands of Palestinian demonstrators gather near the border fence between Gaza and Israel in southern Israel 08 June 2018. Palestinians mark the Naksa Day Al Quds Day (Jeru

The Israeli army said it fired a warning shot on Saturday at a group of Palestinians preparing incendiary balloons to be launched from the Gaza Strip into Israel.

The tunnel provided Hamas covert access to the Mediterranean coast, though it did not actually reach Israeli waters, stopping 3 kilometers short of the northern border with Israel, IDF spokesman Lt. Col Jonathan Conricus revealed to worldwide media in a phone briefing.

"The entry point was inside a Hamas facility on land, and the tunnel extended several dozen meters, with the exit point being underwater (not very deep underwater)", said Conricus.

The IDF said the tunnel would have enabled Hamas naval commandos to carry out amphibious terrorist attacks against Israel.

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According to medics, Israeli troops killed four Palestinians, including a boy, and wounded hundreds of others on Friday with live fire or tear gas used against protesters at the Gaza fence as weeks of deadly clashes with protesters continue.

Israel has placed a high priority on eliminating the tunnel threat since Hamas gunmen infiltrated Israel during the 2014 war.

The military said it was its first use of aircraft opening fire to deter Palestinian protesters in the Gaza Strip from launching fire kites and balloons over the border into southern Israel. The demonstrations coincide with Al-Quds Day - or Jerusalem Day - began by Iran to protest against Israeli rule of the holy city.

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