Netanyahu hints at Gaza tunnel strike, says Hamas should fear 'greater' response

Mourners carry the body of Abdullah Zeidan a 33-year-old fisherman during his funeral in Gaza City

According to the Israeli army, the tunnel passed under the Kerem Shalom border crossing, near the Egyptian border.

Initial investigations showed that the fishing boat had not crossed into Egyptian water, the Ministry said, going on to call on the Egyptian authorities to launch an investigation into the incident.

The tunnel belonged to Hamas and could have been used to smuggle weapons and terrorists from Egypt into the Gaza Strip.

The announcement stressed that the tunnel constituted a blatant violation of Israeli sovereignty, endangering the citizens of Israel and sabotaging the humanitarian efforts that Israel is making for the citizens of Gaza. "The destruction of the attack tunnel infrastructure is an essential element of the policy of consistently harming Hamas's strategic capabilities".

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The Palestinian security sources said that Israeli war jets struck an open field above the tunnels close to the commercial crossing point of Kerem Shalom on the southeast Gaza Strip and Israel borders.

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Earlier Saturday, Israel's defence ministry said the Kerem Shalom goods crossing between Gaza and Israel near Rafah would be closed from Sunday "until further notice". The army said the decision, which is unusual, was reached "in accordance with current assessments".

Upon departing to India on a diplomatic mission, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commented on the significance of the operation.

"There are those who have said the IDF just targeted sand dunes - this is incorrect", he said, alluding to the reports.

Tensions have risen in the region Since President Donald Trump reversed decades of USA policy on December 6 by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital. "Hamas needs to understand that we will not allow these offensives, and that we will respond with even greater might".

No Israelis were hurt by rocket fire Israel attributes the rocket fire to Salafist groups in Gaza, and in one case has attributed fire to Islamic Jihad.

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