In contrast to Hamas' claims that the tunnel was used for smuggling goods, the IDF unequivocally stated that it was an attack tunnel used to smuggle in weapons, terrorists and other operatives into Israel in order to carry out terror attacks. Palestinian security sources in Gaza said nobody was wounded in the Israeli strike.
Military spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said the 1.5-kilometer (1-mile) long tunnel ran underneath the Kerem Shalom border crossing, Gaza's main point of entry for humanitarian aid.
"The Hamas terrorist organization is responsible for everything happening in and out of the Gaza Strip", the press release added.
United Nations trucks carrying building materials for projects funded by UNRWA arrive in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip after crossing the Israeli Kerem Shalom crossing on December 10, 2013.
On Saturday night the IDF announced it would be closing the Kerem Shalom crossing after an assessment of the current security situation, but did not provide further details.
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Palestinian authorities say a Gaza fisherman died a day after Egyptian naval forces shot him off the coast.
The tunnel crossed the perimeter fence, passes under the Kerem Shalom crossing near the gas pipeline and continues into Egypt. There were no casualties in the Israeli airstrike.
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman commented on the strike: "We performed a professional and precise [military] action". "The destruction of the network of attack tunnels is an essential part of our policy of systematically harming Hamas' strategic capabilities".
The tunnel was identified by an integrated technological intelligence and operational capability, and has since been studied until it was made a decision to neutralize it Sunday morning. "The message to Gaza's leadership and residents is clear - invest in the sanctity of life and not these burial tunnels", he said.
Israel's operation on Saturday was conducted against a backdrop of a number of rocket attacks against Israel, emanating from the Gaza Strip.