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14 January 2018, 11:46 | Devin Moran
A Palestinian fisherman stands on his boat in Gaza City's seaport during heavy fog
On Saturday evening the army informed the Palestinians that it would temporarily close the Kerem Shalom crossing for all traffic starting Sunday morning.
Conricus said Sunday Israel was defending its sovereignty with the destruction of the tunnel and was not seeking an escalation.
"Hamas must understand that we will not permit these attacks and we will respond with even greater force", Netanyahu said in remarks to Israeli media before departing on his trip to India.
The military said in a statement that the tunnel extended from the Palestinian town of Rafah, staring about 900 meters from the Israeli border, and was dug below the border crossing and under pipelines used to transport natural gas and gasoline into Gaza.
Dozens of projectiles from Gaza have since targeted southern Israel, and 16 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces, 14 in clashes and two in a retaliatory air strike on Gaza.
"The Hamas terrorist organization is responsible for everything happening in and out of the Gaza Strip", the press release added. The army said the decision, which is unusual, was reached "in accordance with current assessments".
Last week, the IDF struck what many assumed to be a tunnel in the Gaza Strip, following a series of mortar attacks. The Erez Crossing reopened a day later, and Kerem Shalom was reopened on December 17.
Last year, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot responded to criticism that the military was targeting "sand dunes and empty bunkers" in its strikes in Gaza, telling the Knesset that the IDF is actively thwarting the tunnels and publicly acknowledging for the first time that the army has the technology to do so. In response, the IDF fired live rounds towards the main instigators who were believed to pose a threat to IDF soldiers and the security fence.
Fishermen from Gaza have often brought in catch from Egyptian territory to sidestep restrictions imposed by Israel's naval blockade of the enclave, which Israel maintains citing security concerns. Unique about this tunnel, the IDF said, is that "it clearly was not a tunnel for smuggling merchandise, but specifically made for attacks".
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