Targeting tunnels (Illustration)
Photo: AP

IDF targets Rafah smuggling tunnels

Israel confirms strike on underground tunnels near Rafah crossing, Philadelphi Route; Palestinians say two people killed, 25 injured; another Palestinian killed by Egyptian forces while trying to cross border

The Palestinians reported Sunday that the Israeli Air Force has struck tunnels along the Philadelphi Route, near the Israeli-Egyptian border.


The attack, the first in the area since Operation Cast Lead began, resulted in two fatalities.


The IDF confirmed the aerial attack, which destroyed 40 tunnels in less than four minutes. The tunnels were used to smuggle weapons and terrorists into the Hamas-controlled enclave.  


According to a BBC report, the fence separating the Palestinian territory and Sinai was breached and several Palestinians crossed over to Egypt. Palestinian sources in the Strip a Palestinian was killed by Egyptian security forces' fire while trying to cross the border.


Earlier Sunday, al-Jazeera television reported that the IAF struck targets on the Palestinian side of the Rafah crossing. Eyewitnesses reported seeing dozens of blasts and hearing guns blazing at the tunnels direction.


According to the report, several Hamas strongholds in the Rafah area were hit and about 25 people were injured.


Earlier still, the Palestinians reported that two people were killed in an IAF strike in the northern Gaza neighborhood of Jabalya. The Palestinians claim that 287 people were killed and 900 injured since the beginning of the Israeli offensive on Gaza.


Meanwhile, Palestinian militants continued firing rockets at Israel, as 23 Qassam rockets fired from northern Gaza landed mostly in the Eshkol Regional Council limits. No injuries were reported, but the area was damaged.


Ali Waked contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 12.28.08, 17:25
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