This is the first tunnel with an underwater exit shaft that allows divers to cross the border undetected.

The exit of the tunnel destroyed by the IDF.

The Israeli Air Force has destroyed an underwater tunnel built by the Hamas recently, it was released today (Sunday). The operation took place last Sunday in the early hours of the morning, local time.

The tunnel, disguised as a sewer, was constructed 3km south of the border with Gaza and extended several meters towards the Mediterranean Sea. A spokesperson for IDF said that the tunnel was designed to allow Hamas Commando divers to go out to sea undetected, and that the Israeli operation was part of retaliatory attacks carried out the same day in response to rocket and mortar fire of the previous 24 hours. Among other IDF targets were a Hamas commando military station in the northern part of the Strip.

The tunnel route was identified as part of a scheme designed by Hamas during the past year. IDF spokesperson said that the tunnel was unique in allowing terrorist divers to go out to see undetected and carry out their attacks. “IDF will not enable harm to the security of the state of Israel and will continue to act with determination against terror of any kind,” an IDF statement said. “IDF is determined to continue carrying out its mission to protect the citizens of Israel and its sovereignty.”

IDF graphic displaying the location of the tunnel.

This is the first tunnel with an underwater exit shaft that IDF has destroyed. A senior Israeli Air Force officer said that the Israeli operation was made possible by information obtained by the Israeli naval intelligence, and that the Israeli military has known for months about the tunnel and “decided this was the right time for us to destroy it.”

Last month, IDF was able to neutralize another Hamas terrorist tunnel in the vicinity of Erez Crossing close to the border with Israel. This tunnel did not cross the fence but was detected in recent weeks using technological devices.