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JERUSALEM — The Israeli military said Thursday that it discovered and destroyed a Hamas tunnel dug out from Gaza into Israeli territory, the 15th such tunnel threat it has thwarted over the past year.

Military spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said the tunnel was about a half-mile in length, stretching from the southern Gaza region of Khan Younis and penetrating 200 yards into Israel.

Israel has placed a high priority on eliminating the tunnels since Hamas gunmen infiltrated Israel during the 2014 war. Although they never managed to reach civilian areas, the infiltrations caught Israel off guard, with one attack killing five soldiers and terrifying civilians.

Israel has since begun building an underground barrier and has boasted of deploying sophisticated technology that has helped it discover the tunnels more quickly.

Conricus said the military had been tracking the latest tunnel for months. He called it a high-quality, “complex tunnel system with various connections and branches.”

Hamas, which rarely comments on specific Israeli strikes on the Islamic militant group’s infrastructure, made no comments.

Meanwhile, in the West Bank, the military said a Palestinian stabbed an Israeli soldier, a reservist, moderately wounding him. Other troops on the scene opened fire, but the assailant fled. A civilian bystander was lightly wounded.

A Section on 10/12/2018

Print Headline: Tunnel into Israel found, destroyed

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