Following reports that eight Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists were killed in the terror tunnel demolition carried out by the IDF on Monday, Hamas has issued a response, in which they call the tunnel’s destruction a “dangerous escalation” and an attempt to destroy Palestinian unity.

Tunnel demolition, today

Tunnel demolition, today Photo Credit: Channel 2 News

Following the IDF’s demolition of a terror tunnel earlier today (Monday), Hamas responded harshly: “A dangerous escalation and desperate attempt to sabotage efforts to achieve Palestinian unity.” The terrorist organization also claimed that “the continued escalation by the Zionist enemy only motivates [them] to continue on a path towards unity and to maintain the option to resist.”

As reported earlier by JOL, the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza stated Monday that at least eight Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad members were killed and nine others were injured when Israel blew up a tunnel that extended into its territory. According to Palestinian media outlets, two senior PIJ members were among those who were killed, including PIJ commander Arafat Abu Mourshid. In addition, it was reported that the terror tunnel belonged to the PIJ.

Senior PIJ commander Arafat Abu Mourshid reportedly killed

Senior PIJ commander Arafat Abu Mourshid reportedly killed Photo Credit: Channel 2 News

“We will not hesitate to defend our land and our people…The Israeli explosion [constitutes] a dangerous escalation [of the situation] that was designed to disrupt our plans. We will examine all options including a response to this aggression.” a senior PIJ official stated, adding that the tunnels are a part of his organization’s deterrence strategy and that their destruction is a “clear declaration of war by Israel.”

Earlier today, JOL reported that the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit announced that a terror tunnel that was found in Israel close to the Gaza Strip border near Khan Yunis has been demolished. “Anyone who tries to harm us, we harm them,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated. “I said that we are developing technology to deal with the tunnels and today, we used it.”