Israel destroys Hamas attack tunnel from Gaza

Palestinian demonstrators sit along the border with Israel as Israeli heavy machinery, background, work to search for tunnels in the southern Gaza strip city of Khan Yunis in February 2018. (AFP)
Updated 11 October 2018
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Israel destroys Hamas attack tunnel from Gaza

  • There were no indications of casualties linked to the destruction of the tunnel
  • The destruction of the tunnel comes amid months of protests and clashes along the Gaza border

JERUSALEM: Israel’s military said it destroyed a Hamas-built tunnel extending into its territory from the Gaza Strip on Thursday that was intended for attacks.
Military spokesman Jonathan Conricus said it was the 15th such tunnel discovered and destroyed by Israel in the past year.
There were no indications of casualties linked to the destruction of the tunnel around one kilometer in length (less than a mile) and which originated from the Khan Yunis area of southern Gaza.
It extended around 200 meters (650 feet) into Israeli territory, Conricus said, adding Israel’s army had been monitoring its construction for several months.
He declined to elaborate on how the tunnel was destroyed, but said “combat engineering means” were used.
Conricus called it a “complex tunnel system with various connections and branches.”
Israel has in recent months employed technology to detect and destroy tunnels without bombing them, including by filling them with material to make them unusable.
Israel is also building an underground wall around the blockaded Gaza Strip to stop tunnel digging. Work on the massive project is expected to be completed by the end of 2019, Conricus said.
Conricus alleged Hamas used new methods in building the tunnel destroyed Thursday that seemed intended to evade Israel’s detection methods.
He declined however to provide specifics, but noted it was equipped with electricity and communication hardware.
The destruction of the tunnel comes amid months of protests and clashes along the Gaza border that have raised fears of a fourth war since 2008 between Israel and Hamas, the movement that runs the Palestinian enclave.
At least 198 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in Gaza since the protests began on March 30, while one Israeli soldier has been shot dead by a Palestinian sniper in that time.
Israel says its actions during the protests and clashes are necessary to defend the border and stop infiltrations and attacks, which it accuses Hamas of seeking to carry out.
Palestinians and rights groups say protesters have been shot while posing little threat.
The last conflict between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza in 2014 was waged in part over tunnels that were used to carry out attacks within Israel.


OIC foreign ministers to meet in Abu Dhabi

Updated 41 min 46 sec ago
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OIC foreign ministers to meet in Abu Dhabi

  • The meeting will be held in UAE’s capital from March 1
JEDDAH: The foreign ministers of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member states will meet in Abu Dhabi on March 1-2 to discuss the OIC’s role in promoting development in member states.
Secretary-General Dr. Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen said reaching higher levels of development and prosperity for member states, and strengthening economic and trade relations between them, are among the most important pillars of the OIC’s economic program.
“Economic cooperation between OIC member states is based on the established connection between development and peace, security and stability,” he added.
Al-Othaimeen cited the number of member states (57), and the diversity of their natural sources, as positive factors in terms of economic cooperation.
To improve economic and social cooperation between member states, he called for the implementation of joint programs to mobilize resources and maximize opportunities.
The foreign ministers will discuss the effectiveness and adoption of the OIC’s various programs and measures.
They will also highlight their national priorities for economic development, and areas of convergence with the OIC’s objectives, plans and programs.
The ministers will discuss activating different financing mechanisms, and the development and marketing of Islamic financial products and other innovative financing tools.
They will also explore the active participation of community-based organizations in developing the rural sector; promoting employment of the youth, women and vulnerable people; promoting economic best practices; improving the quality of human resources; and providing appropriate institutional frameworks for national economic development strategies.