Hamas: IDF to Pull Digging Equipment Away From Gaza Border

YERUSHALAYIM -
A view of the entrance to the Hamas terror tunnel that crossed into Israeli territory and was discovered and neutralized by the IDF. (IDF Spokesperson)
A view of the entrance to the Hamas terror tunnel that crossed into Israeli territory and was discovered and neutralized by the IDF. (IDF Spokesperson)

Gaza Arab terrorists fired another mortar shell at IDF soldiers along the Gaza border fence early Thursday. Israeli forces responded by firing back at the source of the shell’s firing. There were no injuries on the Israeli side. Later, Israeli aircraft bombed four Hamas targets in Gaza.

IDF officials said overnight that Israel was not seeking to aggravate the security situation, but would respond to all acts of aggression. “If Hamas continues its aggression on any level, Israel will continue to respond with all the means at its command,” a statement by the IDF said.

Since Tuesday, there have been at least five incidents of mortar shells being fired at Israeli forces. According to reports, those firings have been due to the IDF’s ongoing activity in searching for tunnels running under the Gaza border fence. A report on Channel Ten Wednesday said that the new round of Hamas attacks were born of desperation – because Hamas is desperate to prevent the IDF from further investigations in the underground terror tunnel network under the Gaza border.

“For weeks, dozens of tractors and other heavy equipment have been operating on the Gaza border,” said Channel Ten’s correspondent. “What has changed is that Hamas is apparently trying to send the IDF message – you can operate in some areas, but not in others, and apparently the army is operating in an area that Hamas is trying to force soldiers away from.”

Because of security clearance issues, the correspondent said that he was not permitted to give more details, “but anyone with a head on their shoulders knows what we are talking about.”

In a statement late Wednesday, Hamas said that it had come to an “understanding” with the army over the matter. Hamas said that the IDF would remove its heavy machinery from inside Gaza and pull it back to at least 150 meters from the border fence. Israel has not commented on this claim.