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Israel Neutralized A Terror Tunnel From Gaza Into Israel

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Border police officers guard near metal detectors placed outside the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City

The armed wing of the Islamist Hamas group said two of its gunmen were killed while trying to rescue Islamic Jihad men working in the tunnel.

The tunnel was discovered on October 15 by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, which runs the school, and Israeli authorities were notified, the UNRWA said in a statement released Saturday.

Most belonged to Islamic Jihad, one of several groups in Gaza that are classified as terrorist organizations by the USA and European Union.

He did not explain why Israel made a decision to detonate the tunnel this week, although the presence of fighters inside may have triggered the Israeli action.

Tunnels dug by Gaza's Islamist rulers Hamas were a key issue in the last war with Israel in 2014, but discoveries of those stretching into the Jewish state have since been rare.

"I told you many times before that we are developing breakthrough technology to deal with the tunnel threat", Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told local media on Friday.

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The detonation of the tunnel, which travelled under the border fence near the southern city of Khan Younis, was disclosed by the Israeli military on Monday. A total of 67 Israeli soldiers and six Israeli civilians were killed in the conflict, while 2,251 Palestinians died, according to the United Nations. The tunnel extended for over a mile, some of it deep into Israeli territory.

Conricus declined to give further information on the "new technology" but said it was used for the first time in detecting a tunnel.

During Protective Edge, a major tunnel infiltration aimed at the residents of a kibbutz near the Gaza border was thwarted just as terrorists were emerging on the Israeli side.

It went on to hold Hamas - which has governed the strip since 2007 - responsible for what it described as "hostile activity".

Hamas, which is in the process of reconciling with its rival Palestinian faction of Fatah, accused Israel of attempting to sew discord and "ruin efforts to restore Palestinian unity".

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